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Death Metal meets Jazz Fusion in Space - 91%

pryone, February 16th, 2011

Many times in a band's lifetime, a change in sound usually leads to one of two things: either the death of the band, or the band making themselves a new image and getting bigger/better. While to me this album is the latter, a welcome change from death metal to more jazz/prog death metal, what happened to the band is the former, as they later broke up, but now they're back together, but they didn't return to this album's style.

This albums main sound can be broken up into a mix of three genres. Death Metal, Progressive Metal, and some Jazz/Fusion work in there too. The album opens with "Mind Reflections" which sets the mood perfectly. It doesn't start off with any silence or noise or anything like that, just a snare hit then the song immediately starts, and this one doesn't give mercy. It starts with a nice start/stop riff that reminds me of a tech death riff but in a more thrash manner. The vocals come in and they're great. They're not similar to Mr. Drunen's vocals, who was the previous singer for the band, but they still rule and have a classic death metal style. The lyrics are pretty cool too, although completely different from the death metal standard of gore lyrics, these instead refer to space/time.

Another great song is "Personal Energy." This one starts off much more quiet and ambient than any other song on the album, and it keeps in that sense for the rest of the song. Sounds influenced by Cynic's album Focus. The vocals here have a different "voice" too. The singer's regular death vocals are more muffled here, as if hearing them through a radio, but there is also a more moaning vocal approach, reminiscent of Carbonized.

The major drawback of this album though is the lack of diversity. The paragraph I gave to "Mind Reflections" could go with most of the others. The only ones that sound different are "Aurian Eyes", "Voices From Within", and "Phileas", because they are more orchestral passages in between songs. While the others can vary more in tempo and have different riffs they don't feel that different from each other, however it's not so "samey" sounding that the album feels as if it's merging together and when you finish listening to it you can't remember much of what you just heard. To put it simply, none of the songs are bad, but they could be more diverse.

Overall a great album, recommended for those who are already fans of Pestilence and of the genre, as well as fans of Cynic and other progressive metal bands.

There is also a special edition of this, which I own. It contains a remixes of two songs, "Demise of Time" and "Soul Search", and live versions of the songs "Mind Reflections" and "Multiple Beings." The remixes are good but don't sound that different from the album versions, but the live versions are very well performed and sound great too.