Inanimate Existence
A Never-Ending Cycle of Atonement

Unique Leader, one of my favorite labels, has smashed yet another home run. The sophomore album by California tech-death metallers Inanimate Existence is an absolutely stunning effort on every level.

After going through this album a few times, what struck me the most is the dense, ambient, dare I say beautiful (!) song structures and elements that are weaved throughout its entire length. You get the hammering, flawless drumming of Ron Casey (Brain Drill), the churning death growl of Riley McShane (Son of Aurelius), backed by the dual guitars of Cameron Porras (ex-Flesh Consumed) and Joel Guernsey, and the thankfully present bass of Scott Bradley. The pure tech-death mastery and skull crushing fury is present on opening track “Omen”, which also features some very well placed solos and slower sections.

“Bioluminescent Photophores” follows this similar style of writing, while follow up track “The Rune of Destruction” showcases some phenomenal, almost haunting female vocals about halfway through. “The Catacomb of Mirrors” and “Staring through the Fire” also vary the tempos nicely, with ripping solos making their way in and around the slower, instrumental parts. At just under ten minutes, “Out of Body Experience” is an Opeth-ian style epic tech-death track. Closing instrumental “Dueling Shadows” ends the album and ties it together in a very cohesive manner.

Most of the band’s lyrics center around metaphysics and Eastern religious philosophical themes, which comes across artfully in their music; it’s also quite a nice change from the blood/death/gore staples of extreme metal. This band mixes everything from Opeth to Origin to Abysmal Dawn to Obscura, and culls a unique sound from such an eclectic genre pool. Add in the top notch musicianship, amazing songwriting and a wonderfully heavy production job courtesy of Zack Ohren (All Shall Perish, Cattle Decapitation, Warbringer et al), and you easily have one of the best albums of the year.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kevin E
August 12th, 2014


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