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Nov. 16, 2015


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Antlion is a Canadian metal band who hail from Ottawa, Ontario. The Prescient was recorded by the band's drummer, Arend Nijhuis, and mixed and mastered by Zach Ohren (Fallujah/Arkaik/Inanimate Existence/etc). On their Facebook page, you'll find the tag "psychedelic," which isn't an unfair summation. But taking things a few steps further, this is some of the best technical, progressive death metal I have heard all year.

"Incubus" clunks out some introductory bass notes before going all BTBAM meets Azgard and Dystrophy. Adjectives fail me. There's such layering of prog, djent, jazz-infused death, and good old fashioned technical mayhem. This continues into "Hubris" which only went further beyond my expectations with its incredibly fun guitar lines and beautiful flourishes of piano. In genteral, expect effortless leads of tapping and sweeps that captivate, mystify, and induce envy in a relative noob guitar player like me.

And unlike the one word track names, their is nothing simple about these compositions. Whether it be a complex, binary bassline or head scratching drum pattern (pretty sure I heard some polyrhythms), this is the definition of technical musicianship. But it is all joined nicely with engaging structure and pleasant melodies. In fact, some of the more cheerful sounding tracks like "The Prescient Pt 1" remind me more of things like Hopesfall than anything else.

To put it simply, The Prescient is quite a fusion of sound and scope. So much so that choosing highlight tracks is difficult. I loved each of them, and for different reasons. While "Hive" is a straight banger that would have found its aggressive noodling right at home on Alaska or The Silent Circus, "Spire"'s main hook is right off of Meshuggah's Nothing. But all said and done, you really just need to listen to this thing. It's most certainly going to make it on a few best-of lists this year, but only if people like you spread the word. Make it happen.