Mother Of All – Age Of The Solipsist – Album Review

Artist: Mother Of All

Album Title: Age Of The Solipsist

Label: Black Lion Records

Date of Release: 23 April 2021

Black Lion Records is a label with which I am becoming ever more familiar. Ghosts Of Atlantis, Kvaen, and Maestitium are all artists that have recently released great albums on the Swedish label that’s gaining some serious traction as a result. Therefore, when presented with a new release billed as melodic, progressive death metal, with none other than Testament’s Steve Di Giorgio making an appearance as the guest bassist, I had to take a listen.

Mother Of All is, more accurately, a one-man project, spearheaded by the Dane Martin Haumann who most famously was the drummer for Myrkur and Afsky. Haumann however, has more strings to his bow than just the drums and has formed Mother Of All with the help of Di Giorgio and session guitarist Frederik Jensen. Together, they have presented the metal world with the debut album ‘Age of The Solipsist’, albeit some eight years after Mother Of All came into existence. With a mix courtesy of Hannes Grossmann (Hate Eternal) at Mordor Sounds and artwork courtesy of the renowned Travis Smith, ‘Age Of The Solipsis’ ticks all the boxes and offers up a tantalising proposition.

Unfortunately, on this rare of occasions, the reality has not quite met the promise. Musically, Mother Of All are incredibly adept. However, the Achilles heel here is the vocal style from Haumann himself. I find the gruff vocals generally a little high-pitched and too often they veer into shouting territory, thus lending some of the music more of a hardcore, crossover feel. There will be lots of music fans out there who will see this as a positive rather than a negative but I’m afraid that I’m not one of them despite my best efforts to the contrary.

I’m buoyed at the outset by opening track ‘Autumn’ thanks to the cool acoustic guitar-led intro that explodes into a flurry of melodic death metal activity, complete with memorable riffing, and relentless blast-led drumming. When the pace slows, the bass playing really comes to the fore too, despite being a commanding presence throughout. There are good dynamics at play too, as we get a reprise of the acoustic intro to break up the heavier material. Initially, Haumann’s vocals are ok, offering a thrashy bark here and there. But after a while, the delivery begins to grate on me just a little too much. I really wish Haumann had stuck to the drumming because on that score, he’s a beast, with technical ability as well as flair.

‘We Don’t Agree’ is a breakneck track with more impressive musicianship. Stylistically, when coupled with the vocals it has more of a death/thrash edge to it, all sharp, angular and aggressive. It’s here that the Haumann’s voice starts to veer into shouty territory with a slightly cringeworthy ‘let’s f**king go’ as the song changes direction a little.

Billed as a melodic progressive death metal affair, the prog element rears its head within ‘Curators Of Our World Scope’. Complex-sounding rhythms and off-kilter time signatures mess with my head as once again, I’m hugely impressed with the instrumental abilities of the trio. The title track by contrast allows more melody to surface within what’s much more of a straight-up melodeath composition, one that’s actually pretty catchy and a fair amount of fun to listen to. The same can be said about ‘At The Edge Of A Dream’, which offers up a catchy hook or two as well as solid, crunchy riffs to get the head banging.

I’m not a fan of the more caustic, attitude-laden thrash hybrid that goes by the name of ‘Blood Still Owed’, especially when Haumann spits some pretty crass lyrics. I don’t mind swearing in the music I listen to, but when it’s as blunt as ‘you f**king piece of sh*t’, I can’t help but feel that it was done for effect above all else.

The final track, ‘Feel The Pain’ is something altogether different though, and is possibly my favourite composition on this album. It plays with more of a classic hard rock swagger, where the melodies are more pronounced, the tempo is slowed, and the pulsing bass takes a prominent role. It’s on this track that a cleaner vocal delivery is used and it actually adds to the song rather than detract. It makes me wonder what the rest of the album might have sounded like with a different vocalist.

The other criticism I have about ‘Age Of The Solipsist’ is its length. The seven songs do cram in an awful lot of material but the record lasts for less than half an hour. By any stretch of the imagination, that’s significant brevity right there. I know that they say leave the audience wanting more, but I have heard EPs that have lasted longer. Hell, even a Tottenham Hotspur title challenge will last longer.

All-in-all, Mother Of All have created a debut album with plenty of merit but falls just a little short of my admittedly lofty early expectations. In terms of musicianship alone, Haumann and co. excel. Unfortunately, when reviewing a record, you have to take into account all aspects and for my tastes, the voice lets things down just a touch too much. Still, give ‘Age Of The Solipsist’ a spin by all means because there’s plenty to like about it.

The Score of Much Metal: 77%

Further reviews from 2021:

Night Crowned – Hädanfärd

Brainstorm – Wall Of Skulls

At The Gates – The Nightmare Of Being

Rivers Of Nihil – The Work

Fractal Universe – The Impassable Horizon

Darkthrone – Eternal Hails

Thy Catafalque – Vadak

Terra Odium – Ne Plus Ultra

Hiraes – Solitary

Eye Of Purgatory – The Lighthouse

Crowne – Kings In The North

Desaster – Churches Without Saints

Helloween – Helloween

Fear Factory – Aggression Continuum

Wooden Veins – In Finitude

Plaguestorm – Purifying Fire

Drift Into Black – Patterns Of Light

Alluvial – Sarcoma

White Moth Black Butterfly – The Cost Of Dreaming – Album Review

Silver Lake by Esa Holopainen

Bloodbound – Creatures From The Dark Realm

Nahaya – Vital Alchemy

Frost* – Day And Age

Obsolete Theory – Downfall

Vola – Witness

Acolyte – Entropy

Dordeduh – Har

Subterranean Masquerade – Mountain Fever

Seth – La Morsure Du Christ

The Circle – Metamorphosis

Nordjevel – Fenriir

Vreid – Wild North West

Temtris – Ritual Warfare

Astrakhan – A Slow Ride Towards Death

Akiavel – Vae Victis

Gojira – Fortitude

Hideous Divinity – LV-426

Benthos – II

Evile – Hell Unleashed

Ninkharsag – The Dread March Of Solemn Gods

Bodom After Midnight – Paint The Sky With Blood

Morrigu – In Turbulence

Mother Of All – Age Of The Solipsist

Throne – Pestilent Dawn

Sweet Oblivion (Geoff Tate) – Relentless

Exanimis – Marionnettiste

Dvne – Etemen Ænka

Cannibal Corpse – Violence Unimagined

Arion – Vultures Die Alone

Maestitium – Tale Of The Endless

Wode – Burn In Many Mirrors

Everdawn – Cleopatra

Unflesh – Inhumation

Mourning Dawn – Dead End Euphoria

Wheel – Resident Human

Wythersake – Antiquity

Odd Dimension – The Blue Dawn

Metalite – A Virtual World

Cryptosis – Bionic Swarm

Ghosts Of Atlantis – 3.6.2.4

Memoriam – To The End

Aversed – Impermanent

Secret Sphere – Lifeblood

Enforced – Kill Grid

Liquid Tension Experiment – LTE3

Turbulence – Frontal

Iotunn – Access All Worlds

Warrior Path – The Mad King

Stortregn – Impermanence

Mariana’s Rest – Fata Morgana

Orden Ogan – Final Days

Witherfall – Curse Of Autumn

Plague Weaver – Ascendant Blasphemy

Ephemerald – Between The Glimpses Of Hope

Paranorm – Empyrean

Einherjer – North Star

Epica – Omega

Humanity’s Last Breath – Välde

Simulacrum – Genesis

Forhist – Forhist

Evergrey – Escape Of The Phoenix

Empyrium – Über den Sternen

Moonspell – Hermitage

Infernalizer – The Ugly Truth

Temperance – Melodies Of Green And Blue EP

Malice Divine – Malice Divine

Revulsion – Revulsion

Demon King – The Final Tyranny EP

Dragony – Viribus Unitis

Soen – Imperial

Angelus Apatrida – Angelus Apatrida

Oceana – The Pattern

Therion – Leviathan

Tribulation – Where The Gloom Becomes Sound

Asphyx – Necroceros

W.E.T. – Retransmission

Labyrinth – Welcome To The Absurd Circus

TDW – The Days The Clock Stopped

Need – Norchestrion: A Song For The End

You can also check out my other reviews from previous years right here:

2020 reviews

2019 reviews
2018 reviews
2017 reviews
2016 reviews
2015 reviews

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