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Now we are talking - 87%

6CORPSE6GRINDER6, May 15th, 2018

There's an abyss between this band's debut album and their sophomore effort, 2015’s “Entheogen”. First, there are elemental line up changes. While Federico Gutiérrez -guitar- and Eric Mejía on drums remained as the back-bone of the band, Esteban Solanos’ incompetent and extremely simplistic bass lines were replaced by Carlos Venegas who is in the other hand one of the best instrumentalists of the local scene, uses a fretless 5 string bass and has an enhanced sense of musicality, the star signing for this record without any doubt. On the other guitar they incorporated Esteban Sancho who shows inclinations towards darker atmospheres than mechanic tech-death but is still an extremely skillful player. Vocal duties were taken over by Felipe Tencio, who also shows better technique than their previous frontman, lower and deeper gutturals with more resonance, adding a menacing edge to the rest of the instruments. Every personnel change was an upgrade in musicianship for this album.

Composition wise, this album can be labeled as progressive death metal, there are surely figures that are hard to play on the strings but this time they experimented more with harmonic tension and atmospheres (actual music theory) rather than technical wankery, a sign of maturity in songwriting and creating lunar sceneries of some sort. There are hints of melody in some guitarlines but not oversweet, they actually make some passages epic. This album features amazing soloing too and sometimes several guitar layers at the same time, super catchy sweep picking licks are also present, the same with arpeggios and tense, unusual chord arrangements and progressions. Bass guitar fills are everywhere, most of the time portraying different figures than the guitars but never going out of scale, excellent work. I love the round sound of the slides on a fretless bass using finger picking. Drumming is very classy, not saturated with blast beats, showing knowledge of other genres -like jazz- in an exquisite way without losing focus on aggression.

The only segments I dislike in this record are the studio sonic landscapes that make the record longer than it should, some songs are already long by themselves relying on real music, those large ambient passages full of synthesizers and effects kind of water down the intensity of the songs that are amazing and didn't need those distractions to build ambiences. The production is still crystal clear (they used the same facilities and producer for the first couple of albums) I have nothing against it because every player developed an organic pitch for their respective instrument, unlike on the previous record that sounds pretty generic. You really should check this out if you're in for some experimental extreme metal.