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I remember it clearly, the thoughts that went through my mind when I listened to their first full- length, Behold Eradication, a very good album, yet of course it had its flaws being a debut, but the vast potential of the band shined through. I already knew it back then that their second album would be something truly great. It's been four years of waiting, but finally it's here.
As I expected, the production has improved greatly; the guitar tone is spot on, the bass guitar is audible and at times given a prominent part, the drums are a lot more clean, and all the instruments mix extremely well with the vocals. The songwriting is impeccable. It's so obvious that the members had a solid foundation to build upon, a fundamental idea of what they were trying to accomplish. Nothing is in there without a reason. Even the guitar solos contribute to the atmosphere as a whole. The shifting in tempo, the alternation between brutality and melodies, and especially the riff progression gives each track a strong identity. Yes, the riff progression is often forgotten by other bands in this genre, but here it really gives that final touch and special seasoning as it sews all the riffs (there are plenty) into a seamless continuity.
All the instruments are combined and dynamically creating not as a soundscape, but more of an entity. Well-handled, they all play their part and they never really separate, albeit a fast, slow, groovy, or melodic passage within a song. Vocals in this genre tend to be quite monotonous and generic, but I'm really in awe over how they manage to do it so well. They're varied between high pitch, low pitch, and even lower pitch, extending the dynamics, but the main feature is with the perfect timing that the lyrics are delivered. Unprecedented to this date.
Reading the lyrics, I'm pretty sure that I'm supposed to approach this as a concept album. It brilliantly tells the story about the birth of organisms, creatures, and man and how we all affect our planet. Well-written, dramatic, engaging, and with a thoughtful message. Applause!
I've listened to metal almost my entire life and in ten years back death metal has been my main passion in music. During this time span I've encountered bad as well as great records. I do have my favourites, but I've never heard perfection...until now. What is perfection? One could argue for hours, but to me the perfect album must be the one without flaws and The Sixth Extinction is cleansed from them. Everything just reaches that high level of musicianship; it's so creative and so uncommon to write nine songs that all stand out on their own and to finalize 42 minutes of music without a single note being misplaced or redundant.
I expected something truly great, but this is more...far more. It's the best composition of music I've ever heard, something extraordinary that has moved me deeply, a true masterpiece.
A rise of death metal.