The Pitch: Nashville's up and coming progressive death metal band Inanimate Existence returns from last year's excellent Calling From A Dream with their 4th full length album through The Artisan Era. FFO: Alkaloid, The Ritual Aura, Opeth
What I Like: It's been a little while since I listened to the previous album, but I feel like Inanimate Existence have even further stepped up their guitar game (and focus). From the very first track we are treated to some pretty impressive soloing that manages to supplement the rest of the song without ever feeling obnoxious. Neoclassical leads offset the crunchier chord progressions in a fantastic way, and I love the intense bass clanking that pops up on the title track. Even the more instrumentally driven songs like "In Moonlight I Am Reborn" and "Old Man In The Meadow" are extremely powerful as a result. So much so that the former has quickly become my favorite track, actually.
As for when the vocals do show up, this is yet another area where the band has gotten heavier in my opinion. While I do miss the previous interplay between the harsh death metal growls and serene female singing (none found on this album), the former feel more intense than ever. The deeper growls have plenty of presence and brutaity in their own right, but the dynamics created with the additional raspy, blackened snarls add further dimension to the overall sound; as do the the tasteful synth additions, particularly on the closing track.
Critiques: As I said, I miss the female vocals from the previous album, and as a result this album feels a little narrower in scope even if it is heavier.
The Verdict: Another excellent progressive death metal album from a band that already impressed me only a year ago. It's always nice to see a group previously unknown to you not only come back with a solid follow-up, but also show some growth in their skills along the way. Please support this talented group.
Flight's Fav's: Underneath A Melting Sky, In Monnlight I Am Reborn, The Djinn
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