Species is a Warsaw, Poland-based trio who loves to combine Thrash and Progressive Metal. Formed in 2018, To Find Deliverance is their debut full-length album. It is eight songs that blur the lines between genres, writing songs that are fast and technical simultaneously. Using mostly gritty, distorted vocals, galloping rhythms, and killer riffs, they stick to the Thrash Metal end of the spectrum more than the Progressive Metal style, but when they do shift, it is pretty cool to hear.
- Piotr Drobina – Vocals/Bass
- Michał Kępka – Guitars
- Przemysław Hampelski – Drums
August 26th, 2022, via Awakening Records.
- Rare Signals
- Falls The Tower
- The Monument Of Envy
- Thy Name Is Slaughter
The album opens with “Rare Signals,” a short, futuristic-sounding intro. There are ominous, eerie synth tones throughout, but no real indication of what is to come. That leads to “Parasite,” a track with a heavy riff and heavier rhythm. There is also a really odd, jazzy interlude up front that does not really make a lot of sense yet somehow works. It is definitely deep into the Progressive end of their writing. The vocals are fast and gritty, just like the rhythm, with plenty of backing vocals added to punch through the guitars and make a real statement.
“Falls The Tower” also has a heavy, Thrashy riff/rhythm combination. Piotr is quite adept with the bass, spending a lot of time coordinating with the bass drum until Przemysław decides to go full-blast beats and leave everyone in his dust. His patterns are really cool, shifting between rapid-fire and rhythmic with ease. Michal’s guitar work is pretty wild, using a lot of varied tones. The riff and the solo/leads have distinct tonal qualities that often complement each other.
A bass line opens “Monument Of Envy,” showing that Piotr can take the lead with more than just the vocals. All three of these guys can play a lead role and take the spotlight with no trouble. As fast as Przemysław is, I’d love to hear his drum solo. “Malfunction” starts with more of a Sludge tempo, though the tone is still Thrashy, and the tempo does pick up when the main section of the track kicks in. The bass playing is pretty awesome through this section, shifting to a very hard plucking technique to augment the sound. The Progressive Metal interlude is catchy, and again, the bass goes hard, almost to a slap technique.
As you would expect from the title, “Thy Name Is Slaughter” is a heavy-riffed track. The drums are not at a true blast beat tempo for the opening, which is interesting. They go more melodic until later in the song. There are more nice tempo shifts throughout this one, all before the vocals start. I think the chugging rhythm has a great pace, which better highlights the changes in rhythm.
“Deus” is another short instrumental that leads into the epic final track, “Ex Machina.” The gentle acoustic guitar tones set us up for a nice, heavy start to the following track. Melodic lead-ins are one of my favorite things in Heavy Metal. “Ex Machina” does everything an 11-plus minute song by a band with Progressive Metal tendencies should do. It twists and turns and takes us on a journey through a soundscape of their creation.
Species write some interesting songs. They are mostly Thrash Metal, but when they go Progressive, they go all out. Those two genres do not often meet, but when they do, they can create something different than the norm if executed properly. Species do this well, making disparate sounds flow together like they are meant to be. All three musicians are damn good at what they do. It will be interesting to hear where they go next.
- Guitars – 8
- Rhythms – 8
- Vocals – 8
- Songwriting – 8
- Production – 8
- Overall – 8.00