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Nothing exists until it is heard - 95%

Nightmare Statue, March 12th, 2018

Infinite Entanglement: The birth of an epic three-part trilogy which I have heard in its entirety at the time of this review.

This album has elements of thrash and power metal, but it is neither. It is traditional heavy metal done right, and though the themes are dark and introspective, even existential, the delivery is somehow empowering and inspirational. It elevates the spirit; it nourishes the soul; it breaks the neck! If you are looking for something to brood to, or to complement your dark new identity, this is probably not your chunk of metal. If you are throwing soft tomatoes against the wall just to watch them bleed, this might not be the right soundtrack. I take that back. That would rule.

Though the more awkward moments of the nearly flawless trilogy are on this album, so are some of the most engaging and memorable. The first three songs are neck-breakers, with heavy riffage and punchy vocals. "1000 Years" is the highlight of the first half of the album. The 4th song is an acoustic duet. Some regard it not only as a highlight of the album, but of the entire trilogy. It seems misplaced to me, as it breaks the onslaught a little too early. Also this duet is, in my opinion, outshined by "Remember" and especially "18 Days", the truly compelling duets in parts 2 and 3 of the trilogy. Still, it is not a bad track. There are no bad tracks. The highlight of the second half of the album is "Calling You Home", with Blaze's baritone tearing through the guitars, which grow in dramatic complexity with each successive verse.

The strategy of varying the riffs with successive verses (and in the next album, even within the same verse) hits the vocals with a bolt of lightning. Check out how the guitars change between the first and second verse of "Dark Energy 256", and how it electrifies the vocals. Now that is metal. Pure and authentic.

Perhaps the best thing about this album is that it leaves room for improvement. As good as it is, it is going to be outdone by Infinite Entanglement 2: Endure and Survive, and Infinite Entanglement 3: The Redemption of William Black. These albums are comparable to the best of what heavy metal has ever offered, and I know this is a bold statement. Rust in Peace, Peace of Mind, Screaming for Vengeance, Infinite Entanglement. Not necessarily in that order.