The Pitch: Independent release from San Franciscan progressive death metal band Sentient Ignition. Engineering, mixing and mastering by Zack Ohren (Fallujah, Entheos) and cover artwork by Pär Oloffson (Aborted, Beyond Creation). FFO: The Zenith Passage, Vale of Pnath, Alkaloid
What I Like: Sentient Ignition really likes to take neoclassical guitar melodies and feed them through a death metal wood chipper. The result is a super shreddy, proggy mess of raging hooks and technical drumming somewhere between Gladius Sky and Vektor; but with a different take on the vocals. Not unlike groups like Cattle Decapitation and Slugdge, Sentient Ignition like to alternate between brutal, snarling death growls and an approach that can neither be categorized as clean or extreme. It's a bit of a half-scream, and while it's not as unique sounding as these other groups, it does wonders to vary up the sound. Toss in a few jazz influences and you get the idea.
Critiques: This music seems particularly ripe for bending its boundaries from here. I want to hear them branch out a la Replacire. Also those aforementioned vocals could use some tightening up.
The Verdict: One of the stronger independent albums I've heard in a little while. I'm sure the professional help in the studio doesn't hurt, but these guys deserve plenty of credit for playing their instruments as well as they do. If it's the direction they want to go, I'm sure it's only a matter of time before they get snatched up by Willowtip or the like.
Flight's Fav's: Enthroned In Gray, Black Lattice, Wardens of Intellect