The Pitch: Winnipeg, Manitoba-based progressive death metal/technical death metal outfit Inverted Serenity "have birthed their finest and most eclectic musical offering yet on As Spectres Wither." FFO: Kaerulean, BTBAM, Inanimate Existance.
What I Like: "Eclectic" is perhaps the key word of the label's pitch. While Inverted Serenity base the majority of their sound in traditional progressive death metal tropes, they're also more than happy to venture into territory that may surprise you. "Cornerstones" and "Mechanical Gods" are both prime examples. After lulling us into a certain sense of security over the first 3 tracks, the abrupt transition into clean vocals and rock-influenced guitars comes as a bit of a shock. In this way, the band not only vary the pace and style of the album, but also toy with our expectations. And while the delivery could use some work, I was pleased to hear another band meld different modes of "progressive" into one package a la Replacire. Between the brutal death growls, technical riffs and drumming, and aforementioned creative sojourns; As Spectre's Wither is a rewarding experience.
Critiques: As I said above, the clean vocal performances and some of the transitions in styles could use a little more finesse. The band would benefit from upping their game in both the quality of the singing and also smoothing out of the compositions in general.
The Verdict: Impressive, varied album that, despite it's flaws, manages to deliver a lot more good than bad. I dig the eclecticism, I dig the performances, and I dig the songwriting. From here it's just a matter of ironing out the details for the next one. Check it out.
Flight's Fav's: We Who Wander, Cornerstones, Dead Dialectics
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