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There’s Nothing Right in Prolonging the Aftermath… - 85%

bayern, February 25th, 2019

I checked the band page here shortly before Christmas, but there was nothing new posted… apparently the guys were content enough with roaming the world for the odd live stint after the reformation in 2014, in a way similar to their colleagues from Coroner, with no intentions of producing anything new…

but there’s always an aftermath to the aftermath, like my very wise grandmother used to say; in other words, lose no hope folks, and here I am, on a cold February afternoon, shortly after St. Valentine’s Day, staring at this utterly unexpected, belated present given to me by this gorgeous female deity (name unspecified) that I have inexplicably forgotten about. Still, they love you selflessly and perennially, these female deities, regardless of whether you still… worship them or not, and gifts from them keep coming in one form or another.

This particular form, though, may surprise the band fans, especially those who were expecting a faithful follow-up to the grandiose “Eyes of Tomorrow”; cause this isn’t. However, it’s a fairly interesting cross over the band’s entire discography, not forgetting about the musicians’ spell from the late-90’s under the Mother God Moviestar moniker either, which may sound like a curious mish-mash on first, even second listen, but those who have been following the guys’ career from the very beginning all the way to the present day will be hardly left disappointed.

So be prepared for a quirky progressive metal amalgam with thrash still leading the show but provided in a less serious, goofier shape. The various, plain disparate as well at times, nuances are scattered all over the band creating the illusion that this may as well be a logical sequel to “Eyes of Tomorrow” initially with the jumpy neurotic progressiver "False Flag Flying", a really nice restless inauguration which unerringly serves the unique old/new school juxtaposition from said album. But then the short bursting thrashcore cuts (“Diethanasia”, “Smash Reset Control”) recalling the band’s early demos come flying and the situation becomes fairly unpredictable, the listener further stunned by the unperturbed balladic ambience of "Pseudocide", a nod to the alternative/industrial rockabilias from Mother God Moviestar’s only album; the abrasive music-less distraction "A Handful of Dynamite", and the noisy industrial parade "Expulsion".

The stylish progressive thrashisms don’t jump out the window, mind you; they stay around being regularly provided either as outtakes from the more recent Voivod output (the vivid dystopian nightmare "Scientists and Priest") or as labyrinthine psychedelic journeys like the title-track where surprises lie in wait at every corner, with twists and turns following in dizzying succession recalling the works of other visionaries like Calhoun Conquer, Wartech, and Transilience. The ride never becomes too abstract on these more contrived numbers with "Gaslight" nicely blending intricate psychotic thrashing with sudden speedier escapades, and "Temptation Overthrown" shooting a delightful portion of fast-paced dissonant riffs, serving the template for the potential hyper-active remake of “Dimension Hatross” either by Voivod themselves or by any other team of intrepid musicians.

There’s a bit for everyone here, and although there will be some who will frown at the larger-than-life conglomerate cooked, the lack of perfect homogeneity works to the band’s advantage… this time. Being missing from the scene for such a huge period, a veteran can surely choose to cover a wider area from their repertoire, not only to make their old fanbase feel nostalgic, but also to present the younger generation with an adequate picture of what was going on in the band camp before some of those folks were even born. I personally had no expectations whatsoever regarding this opus, again its emergence caught me absolutely unprepared, and although I immediately started praying for a faithful continuation to the “Eyes…”, I was by no means pulled back by these multifarious soundscapes. Provided that the Mother God Moviestar stint also worked for me to an extent, especially those tracks recorded earlier as the 1996 demo, I saw no major reasons to complain; it’s the aftermath to the aftermath, after all, can we really expect strict order and robotic discipline from such unheralded occurrences…

no we can’t, and these veterans from old Chicago town are back to show us that. There’s nothing wrong with this new creation of theirs; on the contrary, there’s always something right with anything/anyone that doesn’t give up but keeps providing an aftermath to the aftermath to the aftermath to the aftermath…

to the aftermath.