Mappō is Sed Non Satiata’s highly anticipated follow-up to their previous self-titled album from 2009. The band recorded the new songs during their 2012 US summer tour and fans have had to wait almost an entire year for the songs to be mixed, mastered and pressed on vinyl. Over the last few months, Sed Non Satiata gave us two songs as a teaser and the anticipation for the entire album was unbearable.
Has the wait been worthwhile? Yes, it has. Is it a contender for album of the year? Yes, it is. Is Mappō the band’s peak work? I am not so sure (yet).
Mappō offers the usual range of influences that Sed Non Satiata have been playing: post-hardcore, screamo and instrumental rock in an epic way. It can best be described as a rollercoaster. The intensity changes a few times during most songs, the vocals range from sung to screamed with the addition of backing vocals that create a better atmosphere, the guitar riffs are melodic and calming at one moment and unleash total anguish the next moment. Hauntingly beautiful melodies build up to a climax that crushes you. The instrumental breakdowns always give the listener a time to rest for a second, to sit and just enjoy the moment while thinking of personal memories and events that could be a perfect story for the music as a soundtrack. The French lyrics complete the feelings and emotions that this record conveys.
Mappō appeals to all fans of the previous Sed Non Satiata works and to fans of other French counterparts such as Amanda Woodward and Daïtro. However, note that the A-Side (the first four songs) is markably stronger than the B-Side (the last four songs). Consequently, with such a difference in quality, I am not so sure if Mappō is the band’s best work to date. But: Does it matter? Hardly. I love Sed Non Satiata and Mappō proves that the band can do no wrong. Personal highlights: Extrospection, San Andrea and Soma.
Now for the vinyl nerds: 650 copies were pressed on the same colour (red/clear smoke mix), which perfectly fit the artwork. Three labels are involved in the release; Adagio830, Echo Canyon Records and Protagonist Music. The record is housed in a gatefold cover with the lyrics printed on the inside of the jacket. An additional inlay with liner notes is included. Here’s a picture of the front cover and the vinyl: