Feb. 12, 2018


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The Pitch: Swedish progressive, technical metal act Letters From The Colony combine death metal, metalcore, and jazz to deliver one of the more interesting recent releases to come out of Nuclear Blast. FFO: Meshuggah, Torrential Downpour, Car Bomb

What I Like: Letters From The Colony have found an interesting niche position existing between Meshuggah and Sikth. They possess the heaviness, no nonsense vocals, and freeform jazz of the former, but also the more sporadic, modernized mathcore elements of the latter. Vignette constantly oscillates between these two djenty polarities to varying degree; sometimes breaking down into the dark, headbanging territory of their Swedish brethren, others  getting more playful with mathy improvisations in line with Car Bomb and iwrestledabearonce.

Adding further to this diverse sound, I hear hints of Gojira seeping into certain chord progressions; particularly on "Terminus" and the opening riff of "Sunwise." On the latter, that repeating chuggachugga-squeel pattern is straight out of From Mars To Sirius. As for the vocals, Alexander Backlund's approach is fairly straightforward: maintaining a consistent harshness of both hardcore and death metal. It all comes together fantastically. And with a dash of cool guitar effects and even a sax solo on the 12 minute title closer, Letters From The Colony end up dropping something both familiar and fresh at the same time.

Critiques: Personally, I think the album would be better served shaving a minute here, a minute there. Don't get me wrong, the instrumentation is consistently stunning throughout these compositions; I'm just always in favor of trimming the fat wherever possible. Other than that this is perfection.

The Verdict: If you really found yourself enjoying Car Bomb's Meta, or simply appreciate heavy, progressive music; Vignette is an absolute must-listen. It's a lush, textured journey with plenty of ups and downs to keep you interested. Letters From The Colony are incredibly talented and worthy of your time.

Flight's Fav's: Cataclysm, Glass Palaces, Erasing Contrast

-Review by FlightOfIcarus

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