Hailing from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Piah Mater are a progressive death metal duo that released their debut album 'Memories of Inexistence' in December 2014.
Nine minute long opener 'Cathiard' kicks things off with some mournful piano before some Enslaved style riffing and Luiz Felipe Netto's harsh vocal delivery starts the track proper. Less than two minutes in things slow down and Netto demonstrates that he's one of the few vocalists in the metal world who can actually sing. 'Cathiard' really does set the tone for the album, in the space of a nine minute song you'll hear both death and clean vocals, acoustic passages, blastbeats and some stunning guitar work.
More than once during the course of this album I've been reminded of a 'My Arms, Your Hearse'/'Still Life' era Opeth, this is particularly true during third track in 'Mother Soil'; an eleven minute epic showcasing how talented this Brazilian duo are.
Highlights are 'Mother Soil', 'Young Rust', 'Immaculate' and 'A Greater Freedom'. If I were to attempt a description of these four tracks I'd just be retreading the same ground as the previous two paragraphs so just head over to their band camp page and check them out, especially if you're yearning for Opeth to find their distortion pedals again.
It's unfortunate that my main frame of reference for this album is Opeth as when I first listened to albums like 'My Arms, Your Hearse' they had a massive impact on me, practically changing my view on heavy music overnight and instantly becoming some of my favourite listening material. Therefore, an album comes my way that is clearly influenced by these albums, employing some of the same techniques and sounds, it just isn't going to have the same impact.
That being said, I don't want to give the impression that this is a bad album as it's anything but. If anything I find it incredibly impressive that music of this quality can be produced by just two people, and the fact that it's their debut just makes it all the more impressive. The production on this album is stellar and the level of songwriting and musical proficiency on display here is more than enough to make any fan of heavy music sit up and pay attention.
Piah Mater have set the bar incredibly high for themselves and I'm looking forward to seeing where they go from here.