Epoch of Unlight
The Continuum Hypothesis

I’ll admit it. This was easily one of my most anticipated released for 2005, and upon looking at the cosmic album artwork and equally celestial song titles, I had some pangs of disappointment as I braced for a cyber/space metal style change from one of my favorite bands. However, upon hitting play and being greeted with the glorious tones of the title track, my fear abated as despite their superficial makeover, Epoch of Unlight are still a staggeringly brilliant and gloriously epic black/death/thrash outfit that eat, drink, and shit stellar riffs.Despite a lineup overhaul that’s sees Fallen Empire screamer BJ Cook replace Jason Smith and his cartoonish squeals and Josh Braddock take over Smith’s guitar duties, the driving force of Epoch of Unlight is still present and that is underrated drummer and main song writer Tino LoSicco. LoSicco has a wicked knack for penning stupendously epic and seething riffs that are harmonic and biting, and he does it consistently for the entire album, with some help from Braddock. His unique writing style carries over to his borderline chaotic drumming style that’s brash and sometimes comes across as sloppy, but it all fits the sound that Epoch of Unlight purvey. While the lyrical theme seems to have shifted star ward, the music still has the barbaric, seething yet grandiose vibe as the last two albums; sweeping yet complex, epic yet acidic. Every song on The Continuum Hypothesis is a vortex of swirling magnificence and drips with melodic venom.

After the impressive title track and the blistering “Under Starside Skies”, the album’s first truly killer cut “Argentum” opens with an austere pace and spoken word before unleashing a ballistically melodic assault that few bands can match for harmony and intensity. “Cardinality” has a rollicking NWBHM/thrash sound that could have come from Caught in The Unlight (and is indeed one of the older songs). The first measure of restraint surfaces at the beginning of “Highgate”, but the silence is soon shattered by yet more vitriolic riffage and Cook’s far more tempered screeches. The second real standout “The End of All” embraces a frosty Scandinavian hyperspeed gait, before reigning in for a simply breathtaking thrash/death romp. Seriously, there’s not a bad riff on this album. Even at a lengthy 53 minutes, the album never wanes and even the often familiar gait of some of the songs remains entertaining. If I had to pin point a ‘weak’ track, it’s the mid paced “Broken Pendulum”, which while dexterous and well played, slightly lacks the sheer intensity of the rest of the album. But it does serve as somewhat of a breather.
As if to simply show off his consistent song writing skills, the 1995 penned “Denubrum” despite its base level savagery, goes toe to toe with all of the new material sandwiched between the What Will Be Has Been styled “Quicksilver to Ash” and brash album closer “The Scarlet Thread”. The no name production keeps the bands character so they don’t sound like an “Abyss” or “Berno” band and it fits their convulsive, rousing anthems perfectly.

This band is so damned good it’s unfair to the rest of US black metal.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 22nd, 2005


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