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Irradiant - 90%

Burstedt, April 13th, 2005

Ahh…this is what I have waited for a very long time. A death metal with influences from Death and Atheist taking another approach towards melodic concepts and songs structures. From my view, being a Swede that’s tired of hearing bands like Arch Enemy, Soilwork, In Flames, and others following the Gothenburg-sound and not creating more personal introspect views of new melody and harmonic creativity. And also with being a Morbid Angel fan (especially the Covenant - and Domination-era), in my opinion some harmonics in the Irradiant album may be derived from Morbid Angels harmonically approach.
Also the Scarve-soundproduction has its own approach, one not very popular amongst the death metal scene. Combining the artistry of cords structures and the will to making the sound more clear than many other bands conventional aspect on sound; making it as brutal and heavy as possible. Nothing is wrong in creating a raw & heavy down-tuned production, but somewhere along the line (as in this case the studio process) you have to ask yourself, do we want focus on brutality, or making music clear enough so that audience may hear and enjoy our music sufficiently? Talking about extreme cases of clear sounds in studio productions a la Dream Theater is one thing, but making a death metal album clearer than the normal-raw-and-brutal metal album is another.
In the track Asphyxiate I think of the rhythmic-based conflict between guitars and beat, of which Meshuggah use to do. Interesting and reviving to ones ears to listen to a band that has many colours in its musical creativity. Even the guitar solo sounds a bit like Allan Holdsworth, can you believe it! For those that aren’t familiar with this jazz guitarist, I strongly recommend his early solo album from the 1970s and his works with the Bill Bruford band, the former drummer in King Crimson.