Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2018
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Selenomantic Ecstasy - 90%

6CORPSE6GRINDER6, May 15th, 2018

If Corpse Garden's sophomore album represented a big evolution on every dimension of their music compared to their debut, for this third album their prog/death acquired astral consciousness. The line up is the same featured on their previous album -that was already majestic- so there's an obvious continuation to that sound but this time the recording approach was diametrically opposite. Instead of Bushido Studio’s ultra neat sound, the recording sessions took part in The Thousand Caves Studio, New York, by Colin Marston (Gorguts). You can expect a production similar to “Pleiades’ Dust” or “Colored Sands”, obscure with lots of different guitar layers and the warm fuzz of analog equipment. Tracking was done while the band played the songs live in the studio over and over again and selecting and dissecting the best takes. The artistic direction they took for this album is complemented perfectly by this type of sound because both guitarists and the bassist on his part are playing different stuff most of the time, it enhances the experimental possibilities and fits better the filthier sound of the new compositions.

Songwriting is gifted, they managed to generate dense atmospheres through harmonic tension, exotic chord arrangements, arpeggios and even rhythmic tension delivered by the drummer's insane snare paradiddles. Some passages even include synthesizers but the idea is not overused and they are ultra bassy and low, not sounding like cheesy keyboards at all. This dirtier sound gives an extra depth to the sonic identity of the band, giving the sensation this time they reached their true potential. Execution itself is very clean, it's every string instrument sound modeling and effects what is muddy, as an artistic choice. The experimental side of the band doesn't let them lose focus on aggression and speed, there are enough blast beats, but they know well that heaviness and obscurity can be achieved through more complex atmospheres too, similar to Portal or Abyssal but not so downtuned and more legible.

The sound of the band is very original since their previous output, drumming is complex and fairly technical but not just for the sake of it, the cymbal work and tum fills are exquisite and delicate but the double bass drum is relentless. Some slower passages are decorated with tribal and ethnic percussion too. You can hear some jazz influences on the drummer through the whole record. The bass is 5 string, fretless. The performer denotes fully understanding of the role of the instrument as an anchor between the rhythm and the melody, but rarely plays the riff exactly like the guitars, there are bass arrangements everywhere.

The string department is also enriched by the guitars, that complement each other so well as if they were just one instrument. The musical chemistry between both guitarists is amazing. Vocals suffer a little with this production because they are no longer the center of the mix, the words lose importance as the vocalization becomes another instrument but ironically it helps to build the atmosphere so it's a win on the long run. Gutturals are complemented occasionally by spoken words in Spanish and higher pitched raspy voices by every band member, not just the singer, giving those parts of the record a ritualistic feel -speaking in tongues - that fits the occultist lyrical concept perfectly. IAO was released on November 2017, so it's relatively a new album, and I already consider it one of the best Costa Rican extreme metal albums in the last decade.