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A Session Interrupted by Compulsive Surreal Echoes - 93%

bayern, January 1st, 2018

The combination of deathcore and technical death metal has gained quite a bit of inertia recently, and although it has exasperated the purists, one can’t deny the fact that it offered some kind of deviation from the norms within the death metal roster. Some (Veil of Maia, Born of Osiris, Interrupting Cow, etc.) have been trying to justify the core tag more while others (Fallujah, Rings of Saturn, Beyond the Gates, etc.) have succeeded in balancing things out between the two sides, pacifying the death metal lobby with a more limited range of chugs and breakdowns.

The band under scrutiny here fall in the latter fraction as they don’t dissipate their monolithic sound with too many corey detractions although those are definitely present, but somehow merge with the highly-stylized melee which came close to the melo-death complexities of acts like Quo Vadis (Canada) and Arsis on the debut. Far from ground-breaking, but fairly professionally executed and full of combustible infectious melodies, this album was a promising beginning that must have done the trick in accruing some following for the guys.

Comes the album reviewed here, and things take a wonderful, shall I also say an unexpected, turn. The fields of melo-death have been left far behind the band having moved towards a more abstract way of execution siding with the cold dystopian intricacy of acts like Zillah, but viewed through a warmer, more atmospheric perspective, one that will also remind of Serdce’s transitional masterpiece “The Alchemy of Harmony”. “The Pendulum Swing” is an utterly mesmerizing opener, an atonal angular shredder with bold shades of twisted mathcore, something which visionaries like The Conjuration, Secta Rouge and Illogo would be very proud to have in their discography. A most unnerving, creepy inauguration which doesn’t settle for a single conventional motif even for a split second, this cut transcends the borders of death metal, but before one starts thinking of a more appropriate tag to label this approach, comes “Faradic”, a wild faradic… sorry, frantic cut crossing Atheist’s “Unquestionable Presence” with the cosmic complexities of Beyond the Gates the guys pouring loads of melody into the proceedings.

“Fractal Patterns” is a more elaborate progressiver which relative late-period Death-sque linearity is often intercepted by both atmospheric melodic and super-technical rifforamas, the final result a fairly wild, disorienting at times ride. “The Grave Mistake” is not exactly a mistake, but is a surreal cacophony of weird staccato rhythms and more decipherable progressive dramatism the hysterical overshouty vocals bringing the delivery to a fever-pitch. “Built of Glass” is a frenetic jazz-like extravaganza which has its captivating, quiet moments those carved by abrupt spasms of death metal brutality. Jazz, math, fusion and death shake hands in truce on the encompassing “Vertiginous” which interlaces all the influences into one boiling pot with eccentric riff-patterns galore some of which go back all the way to the first genuine attempts at innovation and outside-the-box thinking on the field, the ones from the Finish auteurs Flounder and Nomicon. “Primogenial Birth” jumps up and down in an acrobatic Necrophagist-esque manner, dazzling stuff enriched by spacey psychedelic passages and surging dissonant strokes. “Recollection” follows a similar pattern only more fusion-like, and “Satori” brings it all to a fair, albeit minimalistic conclusion with more melodic configurations ala the mentioned Serdce opus, the approach staying closer to the purer progressive metal norms.

Although at times the layout is not very far from the extreme progressive metal template with quite a few nuances rushing to impress the listener, often within a single song, there’s never a sense of overdoing it here; the band are fully aware that expansion of their palette would lead to merging the boundaries of several existing genres… The only issue they had to take care of was the blend to have coherence and to not sound awkward. No worries of the kind whatsoever as with so many ingenious outbursts of genius the guys easily acquit themselves, the listener hardly caring about any particular categorization absorbed in this very eventful, full of pleasant surprises symphony.

It would be interesting to hear how the next session would sound like, though… There’s the tendency such diverse masterpieces to be followed by a more introspective, and respectively more melodic, occasionally more simplistic as well, showing. All should be good as long as a couple of echoes from here are resonant and always on standby to shape the musical reality in a least expected crooked manner.