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It’s Endearing, to Follow This (Im)Mortal Coil - 94%

bayern, November 20th, 2018

These Mexican maestros keep descending upon the scene in an irregular spiral-like motion; in other words, don’t expect a third coming before 2021 at the earliest, or thereabouts… The two opuses the guys have released so far should keep the audience hooked, though, since there’s a lot of music contained within those attention-grabbing, labyrinthine takes on the progressive death metal idea.

Mentioning death metal, the latter was more widely covered on the debut, think both the Death and the not Death repertoire, but on the album reviewed here the setting is a bit looser, i.e. it doesn’t hold onto just one specific genre but straddles in the vicinity of the death metal diversification movement (think Serdce’s “The Alchemy of Harmony” and Alarum’s “Eventuality”), and comes out with precious findings some of those being pure spiral-like Zero Hour mania with “Desert of Faith” spinning in (il)logical atonal circles from here to infinity, the harsh overshouty, later-period Chuck Schuldiner-esque (R.I.P.) vocals firmly in place to ensure the thinning tie to the death metal roster.

More dynamic passages are invariably served later with “Nature” admirably crossing over the headbanging quarters for a bit this cut a sure qualifier for the later-period Death arsenal, but expect lyrical escapades and near-thrashy experiences on this perennially-shifting shredder which also excels in the lead department. Pronounced bass burps ala Steve DiGiorgio enter the scene more authoritatively with “Shaman” this track’s shamanistic qualities greatly enhanced by superb melodic tunes, the quiet balladic insertions a regular presence on the “menu” which gets partly ravaged by the spastic blast-beats on “Black Heart”. Still, such unheralded dramatic developments are nicely put under control by the brilliant serpentine angular riffage of “The Path”, and the patiently-woven psychedelic vistas of the title-track, both references to the progressive metal fraternity without too many nervy jolts.

A spiral after spiral from the progressive metal puzzle come unwinding the band assuredly holding onto their mazey vision, knowing exactly where they’re going to end up at the end of the journey. Again, the death metal diversification campaign’s backyard is just a stopover as the perennially-shifting canvas readily swallows any such tools of expression, aiming at this not very tangibly drawn borderline habitat that also Cynic tried to map with “Traced in Air”, but failed to complete the process due to the rockening… sorry, slackening in their camp. The album here is a much better example of how a once-death metal outfit can transcend the more scholastic initial frame and branch into the more or less expected without losing their identity.

Yes, the good old death metal is way more than just wishful thinking on this great saga, but I would have second thoughts betting on the band’s next instalment if I want a full-on surrender to the deathly hallows… after all, it’s “spirals of life” that the guys have constructed; death may not have a place reserved for the next winding/unwinding trip.