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Unique theme, odd ending; the band has potential - 68%

BloodIronBeer, March 1st, 2015
Written based on this version: 2014, CD, Unique Leader Records

Inanimate Existence initially grabbed my attention not for their music, but for their lyrics. The band's theme of enlightenment and metaphysics drew me in, and; I stayed for the music.

With an immense, thunderous tone, and a resolute sense of direction, this album commands your attention. The metaphysical theme is evident in the music just as it is in the lyrics. The vocals sort of take a back seat, the guitar does the proverbial heavy lifting, and I'm okay with that. It works. The bass is metallic in tone, the drums are flashy, but relatively tasteful, the guitar work is good'n'technical, but I'm afraid toward the end of the album the guitar gets a little drunk on the whole theme. Go home guitar, you're drunk.

The problem is the album establishes this big, thunderous tone with these awesome riffs, and then kind of decides that death metal isn't the special of the day. I don't mind it woven through the fabric of the whole album, but to quickly turn off into this very progressive, trippy acoustics and keyboards thing at the end of the album, that just isn't very satisfying to me. I love stuff like Beyond Creation but you know what you're in for from the get-go with that, where this kind of blindsides you with sudden "Dream Theater and Beyond Creation bastard child" in the last 4 tracks, getting more and more prominent until the last two tracks where you end up saying "I swear I was listening to a death metal album, wasn't I?"

Because of the shenanigans of the last 4 tracks, I feel this album is front loaded pretty badly. The strangely (and awesomely) atmospheric whirlwind of riffs and colossal tone of the first 4 tracks are phased out slowly in Catacomb of Mirrors and Staring through Fire, until the last two tracks of "No really, I swear I was listening to a death metal album." The taps and quirky chords, and all that proggy stuff riff-for-riff isn't too bad - but the change from the rest of the album is just jarring, and the way the riffs flow together, especially in Out of Body Experience is awkward and clumsy.

It feels like I'm always saying this - if we had more tracks like tracks 2 through 4, and less like the rest, we'd have a really standout album.

All things considered, it's a good album, but the identity crisis needs to be resolved for this band to put together a really remarkable album; they have the potential for it. We need more tracks like Bioluminescent Photophores and less tracks like Out of Body Experience. Or at the very least, a smoother, more intelligent integration of the sounds.