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2 steps forward - 90%

odradek, July 6th, 2007

After Epoch of Unlight's innovative debut "What Will Be Has Been", the follow-up "Caught in the Unlight" didn't quite live up to my expectations. But with the release of "The Continuum Hypothesis" the band has corrected the misstep and taken yet a further step forward. All 11 tracks feature stunning musicianship, original soundscapes, and captivating melodies, cycling through countless unpredictable transitions and layered upon a tireless rhythmic commotion.

EoU's sound is a bit like Gothenburg metal run one time through a meat grinder. The chaos derives from twin guitar tracks, split full left and right in the mix, apparently both laid down by Josh Braddock. The interplay between the two is phenomenal, whether working together to craft vivid harmonies, or trading off phrases in a mad syncopation. Tino LoSicco's drumming is both energetic and nuanced, as he seems to draw from an infinite set of drum patterns and riffs. EoU no longer feature dual vocals trading off as in their first album; BJ Cook supplies the more conventional single vocal track, abrasive but understandable, with a relatively high-pitched snarl.

"Argentum Era Secui Duos" is a remake of "Silver Mistress", a memorable riff-laden track from their debut album. "The End of All" showcases a great variety of musical devices EoU can deliver capably -- with dual guitars combining to create effects ranging from bright sustained harmonies to dark stacatto riffs, plus an extended guitar solo, hyper fast drumming, and a linear song structure full of unexpected turns.

The album teeters on the brink of chaos at times, but always rescues the listener by returning to a riff that's catchy and familiar. The Continuum Hypothesis is an engaging piece of art.