Sentient Ignition
Enthroned in Gray

Last year, I received a demo from San Francisco’s Sentient Ignition, they didn’t want a review, just some feedback from me about their sound. The basic premise of my feedback was they were promising, talented, sounded like Black Crown Initiate, and the vocals needed some work. Well, they wrote me back earlier this summer and sent me their self released full length debut for review, and my initial feedback still holds true.

The name of the game on Enthroned in Gray is modern, technical,  synth tinged, progressive death ish metal. Light and dark hues collide with growls, screams and clean vocals, the weakest element of all the music. The overall, sound certainly is very ambitious, skilled and varied and at times borders on brilliant as the band certainly have a grasp of dynamics and certainly can play their instruments well.

After orchestral intro “Ascension”, the title track shows off the band’s chops with a really nice melodic dynamic and lots of tempo  and moods changes, making it one of the album’s highlights. The other ones are fourth track “A Thousand Ages”, with some very nice melody lines  and a simply gorgeous bridge about 3 minutes in as well as some nice neoclassical lead work and  fifth track, “Grasp of the Infinite”  with another great segue about 1:20 in and more neoclassical shredding. “Wardens of Intellect” features the album’s longest solo and atmospheric moment, but some clean vocals drag it down a bit, but 8 minute closer “Binding Time” ends the album on another high note, with a pretty perfect album closing last few minutes.

Zach Ohren produced so, sound wise it sounds OK, though for a Ohren production, the guitars are a bit murky, but maybe Sentient Ignition wanted something a  little different from Ohren’s usual sound. Brendan McCarthy has ample growls and screams but his clean screams and croons at times, hold the songs back, but they are not used all the time, and are often layered (and they actually work on “Grasp of the Infinite”), so it’s not a deal breaker, especially when everything else is so spot on.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
September 27th, 2017

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