May 8, 2019


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The Pitch: California progressive death metal band Inanimate Existence drop their 5th album as another integral part of The Artisan Era's massive 2019 roster. FFO: The Ritual Aura, Obscura, Irreversible Mechanism

What I Like: The impressive train of progressive death metal releases keeps rolling with Clockwork; an album dealing "with the acceptance of mortality and our limited time on earth...the irony of how small and insignificant we are in the grand scheme of the universe." While I wasn't floored by 2017's (largely lauded) Underneath A Melting Sky, I also recognize Inanimate Existence as a band seemingly incapable of making a bad album. In any case, Clockwork is one that I would place in the upper ranks of their discography. Of the last three, this one feels the most "techy" to me, though they have by no means abandoned their flair for melancholic atmosphere. "Desert" is my personal favorite; perfectly expressing the band's special dichotomy of Obscura-esque feats of musicianship and ominous, dread-inducing melodies. The latter is perfectly in keeping with the aforementioned concept. I very much associate self-reflection on mortality with the same feelings evoked when listening to Clockwork. It's like listening to doom metal without enduring any doom songwriting...if that makes sense.

Critiques: Maybe it's just first introduction syndrome, but I'm still partial to their 2016 effort, Calling From A Dream. Between the deeply atmospheric compositions and stunning integration of Adrianna Tentori's clean vocals, I found it to be overall a much more engrossing experience whereas Clockwork feels more focused on technicality. We get a hint of the former approach with the luscious strings of "Ocean," and personally I would have liked to hear more.

The Verdict: Another sturdy album from a very talented band, and welcome addition to an already big year for prog and tech death. Nitpicking and personal taste aside, I highly respect any band these days that leaves me excited at the mere mention of their name. With the ridiculous number of bands I listen to on a monthly basis, and the bloated state of the digital music industry in general, it's rare for a band to rent that kind of space in my mind. Get Clockwork on May 10th, and go ahead and order the entire The Artisan Era 2019 lineup while you're at it. Not a dud to be found.

Flight's Fav's: Desert, Ocean, Solitude

- Review by FlightOfIcarus

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