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Phobos to your Escape - 85%

Kritik, January 7th, 2020
Written based on this version: 2014, Digital, Independent

This band from Norway decided on their 2nd release to be influenced by two precised sounds. One influence was the completely inaccessible Phobos album from 1997. That release is still one of the most intense and dark album in the world of music even today. The 2nd influence was one of the most hated release from In Flames named Soundtrack to your escape still liked by this reviewer. Of course, there was some other stuff in the running of the album but these two influences were what was most present.

The first track of the record represent quite well the mixture of the two influence I already described. It started with strange space sounds followed be a very uneasy guitar riff that instill fear right from the beginning. At the same time, we hear a drum play similar to the heavy tones of the Phobos release and the quite synthetic approach of Soundtrack. There was a lot going on in this first track and most listener may be overloaded by the atmosphere at display. The album did quite a fine job at demonstrating its potential and someone can easily listen to this single track to know if they want the rest of the package.

I have to mention the incredible talent of the singer on this release. He managed to sing in what appears to be four different styles. He sings the death metal style vocals, the black metal vocals, a weird kind of scream that may be directly influence from what we hear on the Phobos release and a more melodic voice style for the short break from the intensity the album gave.

There was a presence of many guitar solos that were quite rare in the two influence I was citing. These solos fit completely with the intensity and the overall schizophrenia present on this sound. There was also many short break that doesn't really help to calm yourself and were only accentuating the intensity further like in the middle of the track named "City Of Stones".

Most of the album was more influenced by Phobos than Soundtrack, while keeping the general synthetic and industrial approach of said album, the song "Regret and Eternal Sorrow" was more in line with the calmer and atmospheric track "Evil in a closet" from that In flame album.

The track "Warden of Eons" could have come right from Voivod if I didn't know better. The band just didn't hide its influence at all and went completely nuts with insane riffs in succession and a drum play that didn't lose any intensity during the whole song. The end of the song also possess a short space atmosphere break just to make you feel more uneasy.

The last three tracks of the release did try to implement some variety in the mix established prior and do a great job at finishing the album on a high note. The highly progressive "Reality Unfold" finished an already very good album in a great way but my preference probably went with "Landfall" that managed to mix in equal measure the two influence describe while adding some traditional melodic death metal passage of the greatest kind.

The album did lose some points in the first half of the release. The 2nd track may be a tad overlong and a bit lost in musical masturbation after the 6th minute mark. "Broken Beauty" just can't achieve the same result as "Warden" a little later on the release. The two tracks that followed were also not as good since the intensity was not kept high enough.

The production side of this release didn't have the same problem as some may have found on the In flame release cited on this review, this may be something worth mentioning for those of you.

In conclusion, this was a more than very good release and an album to possess for its better tracks that capture an atmosphere that was lost more than 18 years before this album. Asperium did good here, and their next is even more consistent.