Universum - Leto Destinatus review


17 users:
Band: Universum
Album: Leto Destinatus
Release date: June 2008

01. Leto Destinatus
02. Day Of Redemption
03. Disconnected
04. Solitude
05. Damage
06. Invisible Scars
07. War Of Ages
08. False Paradigm
09. Zero
10. Faded
11. Black Logic
12. Misery Cell
13. Ignite The Subconscious [feat. Tomy Laisto]

Style: Melodic Death Metal
Country: Australia
Label: Self-released
Length: 50:17
Recorded: 2008

Michael Soininen - guitar, vocals
Stephen Murphy - guitar
Jaron Soininen - drums
Adam Soininen - vocals
Rachael Madden - keyboard
Liam Brophy - bass

When I received Universum's début album in the mail I was first of all impressed by its presentation. It came in a folder with info sheets slipped into one side and the CD displayed in the other. You'd have to have seen it but it looked quite professional and showed seriousness and maturity towards the art that is making metal music. When listening to the music itself as well, before trying to determine the quality of the songwriting, the production seems quite good and so no doubt a lot effort was put into the recording/mixing of this album. As it happens "Leto Destinatus" was mixed and mastered by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios in Sweden so it's not a small time homebrew release we have here. But there's no use having all these features in an album if the music isn't written and played well so let's stop getting so far ahead of ourselves and analyse these components shall we?

Universum play a kind of new age Melodic Death Metal. From the first track they unleash an all over fast paced affair with scream/growl hybrid vocals sung as speedily as the instruments play. This style more of less covers the entire first track and it might have some listener's smiles fading slightly (or maybe it's just me that finds this track weaker) but thankfully Leto Destinatus isn't some narrow minded linear metalcore regurgitation. Later moments in the album showcase greater structure with the guitar riffs and the harsh vocals starting to suit the music better. It's all to people's tastes though I guess. The first quarter of the album is more or less similar stuff so those of us that like full on highly modern Melodic Death Metal will be hooked straight away. The rest of us will have to push on to see what variety Leto Destinatus holds and eventually appreciate the album as a whole. Tracks like "War Of Ages" and "False Paradigm" illustrate my point of variety a little with their mostly slower paced melodies. At times they even have faster drumming mixed with the rest of the instruments at mid-pace.

If you listen intently enough you can also make out keyboard passages throughout Leto Destinatus. Some tracks have mini intros of the instrument but at times some neat atmospheres are created as a backing instrument. It's harder to notice them when you're just casually listening to the album though.

Universum's début is a pretty good package for their first set of songs. Fans of this very modern type of Melodeath will probably like it without too much effort but others may have to delve a bit deeper to uncover Leto Destinatus' niceties. I'd say most people will say it's worth it though.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 9

Written by Raiden | 25.08.2008



Comments: 7   Visited by: 73 users
27.08.2008 - 12:00
The Summoner
i've heard a few track from this and you are right about the production!
the tracks sounded pretty cool, had a unique feel while not leave that Swedish sound
im sure i will end up seeing this band as a support sooner or later
28.08.2008 - 13:57
Ann O'War
Great review Raiden, I completely agree with you.

To me they sound almost like Mors Principium Est except less polished and a lot more raw in both production and composition. They're still a quality band though and this is definitely a great debut release.
29.08.2008 - 07:49
Down Under Staff
Thanks I haven't heard any material from Mors Principium Est though.
"Scream for me Melbourne!!!!"
- Bruce Dickinson

"I don't see any god up here"
- Yuri Gagarin (while in orbit, 1961)
30.08.2008 - 15:59
Ann O'War

No way. You really need to hear them.
04.09.2008 - 19:02
The Summoner
Written by Raiden on 29.08.2008 at 07:49

Thanks I haven't heard any material from Mors Principium Est though.

Check out their latest Liberation = Termination, i think it was so underrated !
19.09.2008 - 16:14
Account deleted
I can't believe this is an Australian band! Europe for sure has a great collection of awesome artists that i love but great melodic death this far south?? For a first album of a band that have been together 2 years, these guys are awesome.
29.01.2009 - 16:28
Until the End
If you like Australian melodic death then I'd recommend Pathogen, Be'lakor, Red Descending, Vespers Descent, Infernal Method and Earth.

As for Mors Principium Est, Inhumanity is their best album by a considerable distance, in my opinion.

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