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Eternal Classic - 100%

Weeping_Branches, April 4th, 2013

For me, discovering Timeghoul was like finding a nugget of pure gold on a nature hike. From the moment I first heard "Occurrence On Mimas" during a random band search on Youtube, I knew I had to find out more about this band. It is both honorable and thankless in deed that Dark Descent Records helped resurrect these all-but-forgotten tracks compiled from Timeghoul's various demos (in addition to the extremely rare archival material on disc 2).

For those who are more into the angular, avaunt-garde twists and turns of song-craft that come from bands such as Demilich and later Gorguts, this collection of releases is a total feast for the ears. Personally, I can't find a track that stands out as unremarkable. Every song Timeghoul ever wrote carries purpose and individual distinction, unlike a lot of modern tech death bands, who usually try to cram as many fretboard exorcizes as possible into a track, no matter how shoddy the end result may sound. The success is arguably due to the compositional strengths present thanks to the band's mastermind Jeff Hayden, who shares guitar duties with Gordon Blodgett. According to the latter, the former was apparently influenced by 20th century composers like Shostakovich and Stravinsky, and it shows in just how well this album was put together. But this album is not necessarily authored in terms of musicianship, as the drums and bass provide enough complexity to more than keep up with the other instruments.

Another thing that makes this band's work stand out is the lyricism behind each track, which, much like the instrumental professionalism of each song, tells a coherent story. Much of the lyrics have a science-fiction or other fantastical environment, which certainly matches the angularity of the music. In addition, these lyrics don't come off as an afterthought to the composition, almost as if both elements were spawned out of the ether as one. As I previously mentioned, there aren't really any tracks that come off as unremarkable; however, if there were a standout track on this release, it would be "Occurrence on Mimas", which is a magnum opus for the band both lyrically and musically.

Thanks to the addition of the material on disc 2, we also get a glimpse on the first instances of Timeghoul's work, which to anyone interested in near-obscure material will not be disappointed; live recordings and rare demo sessions decorate and give a new sense of perspective to those who were already marveled by the material on disc 1.

In closing, for those bored by the current wave of technical or otherwise death metal, I demand you refresh yourself with this release. GO OUT AND BUY IT! This is the first in a long time that I have actually had zero buyer's remorse in regard to a music purchase, metal or otherwise. Timeghoul may never get back together, but we at least have this to remember them and possibly (hopefully) re-inspire the next generation of death metal musicians.