Review: “Age of the Solipsist” by Mother of All

Formed in 2013, Mother of All is a one man project, the brainchild of Martin Haumann who you may know better as the drummer of Myrkur and Afsky to name but a few. Incorporating melodic and Progressive elements into Death Metal with the highly praised EP ”Secular Assault” in somewhat varied and eclectic that explore the outer edges of the Metal artform, the Denmark native has chosen to expand his horizons further with a debut album “Age of the Solipsist” that features the legendary bassist Steve Di Giorgio (Testament, Ex-Death, Sadus) and guitarist Frederik Jensen. Produced, Engineered and Mastered by Hannes Großmann (Hate Eternal, ex-Obscura, ex-Necrophagist), the cast is set for a highly promising, highly anticipated Technical Progressive Death Metal album…

…and we haven’t even mentioned the cover artwork by the acclaimed Travis Smith (Opeth, Nevermore, King Diamond) which bejewels the album yet! Where to start with this… Martin Haumann maybe renowned for his work as a drummer and percussionist but his talents extend a lot further than that. He’s a multi instrumentalist who recorded this collection of songs at his leisure to show his artistic vision to those he wanted to get on board and then simply sold his concepts to those he wanted to get on board with stunning results. His vocals are raspy, dry throated uncleans that are well suited to the music he creates and the kind that you may have heard from Thrash and Death Metal vocalists since the dawn of time. As a whole the album maybe varied and eclectic but Hannes Großmann has managed to keep everything on track from the producers chair so the group don’t go off wandering too far from the the central point, always returning to the heart of what their sound is. Opening cut “Autumn” has shades of Traditional Metal with some wonderful melodies and acoustic parts while “We Don’t Agree” is something of a Thrash inspired beast that feeds directly into Steve Di Giorgio lending his talents. The vitriolic lyrics take a page from the book of Hardcore Punk with finger pointing rantings that have rung true for decades while nothing changes with a politically charged undertone that is insightful without over stating it and ruining the music itself.

Curators of Our World Scope” continues that vibe while having some really interesting riffs and dynamics that perhaps show some Obscura influence before the title track. That title comes from the Latin solus ‘alone‘, and ipse ‘self‘, a philosophical concept that only one’s mind is sure to exist and “Age of the Solipsist” brings back the more Traditional Metal elements with some wonderful hooks and catchy melodies while still remaining tastefully heavy. The more caustic Thrash swagger of “Blood Still Owed” is a little crass and direct lyrically but Haumann gets his point across well, someone has crossed him and he vents his spleen in retaliation. Perhaps the variety of this album is one that some listeners will find challenging as while Haumann himself has labelled the bands style as Technical Progressive Death Metal, the reality is perhaps more of a Progressive Thrash sound with Trad Metal overtones for the most part. Full of ideas the two stand out cuts remain the opening and closing ones that bookend the album in fine style while the rest is solid but not as great as the promise suggests. Not that there is anything wrong with that material but perhaps that the sum isn’t as great as the parts and while the performance of the musicians is outstanding technically, some of the lyrics and vocals aren’t as varied as they could be and in places are something of a dulled blade but overall it remains a good listen [7.5/10]

Track listing

1. Autumn
2. We Don’t Agree
3. Curators of Our World Scope
4. Age of the Solipsist
5. At the Edge of a Dream
6. Blood Still Owed
7. Feel the Pain

Age of the Solipsist” by Mother of All is out 11th June 2021 via Black Lion Records with pre-orders available over at bandcamp.

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