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Churn of Groovemetal, Vision of Progmetal - 88%

BuriedInside, October 15th, 2009

I recently picked this album up from the always consistent shipping department of Willowtip records and what I found was that it was a really fun album to listen to, despite its tendency to make use of its influences relatively undisguised. Its difficult to decide whether this is a bad thing in this case for me because this band has taken influences from several bands that I adore and fused them into a well flowing format. The most obvious influences at work here are Meshuggah and Cynic. You could say that the homage takes away from the album, but for me it just puts it into a different context, and does so well, and they've made sure to write quality riffs despite being based on a similar premise. The polyrhythms have a lot more room to breathe on this than on most similar records, and often times, rhythm is manipulated as part of a repeating phrase, rather than the entire phrase, making less use of the shape-shifting of Meshuggah and more use of creative touch to a riff that can stand alone.

Measuring the Abstract certainly does not move along like a Meshuggah record however. Many of the riffs themselves sound somewhat reminiscent, but they album cycles through somewhat reminiscent of a prog-metal album, chock full of passages that logically progress from one another to take the song in another direction. It is very organized for what it attempts to achieve, and it sounds to me like they've achieved what they wanted to.

This album doesn't have the "jump in" effect that Meshuggah does. It's pretty difficult to get the point I'm about to try to make across, but I'll try anyway. With many meshuggah albums, the rhythm that you choose to follow in the music predominantly ultimately decides what your listening experience is going to be like, because you will hear all of the other rhythms as accents on the one you are following. With Measuring the Abstract, the segments are too short to really "follow alternate routes", and the preceding passage has already left you with an expectation for the riff you are hearing. With less time to absorb and figure out the rhythms at play, the album does NOT meet this standard, however, it avoids playing those really dense riffs that you will hear on a Meshuggah record in lieu of something more open that can flow in the song effectively. Basically, this is the difference in context that makes this album not feel like a Meshuggah rip off to me.

So all in all, this album is like an overzealous version of Meshuggah that breathes more and takes influence from other places. For me, it makes for a pretty interesting journey, and I spin this one occasionally if not often. This album is basically for people who like the sound of the aforementioned bands who are not offended when someone takes influence. Its definitely not anything revolutionary, but it is effective for what it is, and is enjoyable to listen to.