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Persistence pays off - 98%

GS_Abbath, August 6th, 2004

What can I say? A few months ago, I would have told you that this release was very forgettable and bland. What a differance a few listens can do.

Behind this wall of seemingly random chaos lies beauty which must be heard to be believed. A rich cacophany of melodies lies underneeth a brutal forefront to amaze the listener to no end. Here, the band manages to create a masterpiece which is amazingly melodic, yet strikingly heavy at all times. The writing is incredibly well balanced as it does manage to show both these characteristics seemingly at once. The sound is also influenced by middle eastern mucis, which shines through on guitar lick splattered across the album (Opening progression of the album). This adds a certain flavour which does not get nearly as much play in the metal world. The music seems to paint a portait with its progressive sound, making the listener want to listen to the album in its entirety time and time again.

Technically, the music is impressive as well, especially in terms of the drumming. Jazz techniques are seen throughout (his left hand speed is unreal, matching, if not exceeding Flo's from Cryptopsy) and add a ton to the music. You will find yourself going back to figue out how Tomas Corn could possibly pull off those fills and manage to throw in some creative cymbal work at once. The guitar is very tasteful, and never overdoes it with the technical riffing as many bands end up doing *cough*Necrophagist*cough*. Vocals are extremely low, as you would find in much goregrind (have no fear, the music never ends up being repetitive). As impressive as the individual performences are, everything ties together perfectly, and avoids the focus being on one instrument (See: Cryptopsy's last 2 albums).

My only tiny gripe is that one of the track I find skippable (To Become Shelter and Salvation).

Standouts: "To Give", "On the Way Home", "A Step Closer" and "An Old Man and a Child".

A must-listen for all music fans.