Inevitable End
The Oculus

Talk about a breath of fresh air. With so much deathcore aping, tech-metal trying to out-tech itself and post-ironic hipster dabbles in the world of heaviness, it’s relief to accidentally come across a record in 2011 that is visceral and extreme without any novelty kitsch. The adventitious record I’m referring to is The Oculus from Sweden’s Inevitable End.

“Chaotic” is the first word that comes to mind when reflecting on the 13-track sophomore album from this four-piece. Chaotic in a good way. Bands such as Harlots, Converge or even The Chariot come to mind, but what Inevitable End delivers is much heavier, more emotionally-charged, and often much more intense. The guitar-work is fast, frantic and angular, with spastic freak-outs happening at regular intervals throughout. It’s really an exhilirating listen; like a train about the jump the tracks at any second. In fact, the record entertains much in the same way like a fast-paced action sequence in a movie, your only objective is to bear witness and hold on while shit gets fucking nuts. Fortunately, the production is amazing for this style. It documents every nuance, keeping things crisp and clear and yet very live and dirty sounding (ie. you can tell humans are playing, complete with mistakes, random improvs, and more ). A perfect match.

One of the exciting things about this record is the wide variety of guitar tones and textures used. Sonically, if you’re a gearhead or audiophile, there’s a wealth great sounds to immerse yourself in. You’ll find post-metal and noise-rock undercurrents alongside loads of effects and varying degrees of distortion (from clean and natural, to dripping sludge and buzzing crunches). To be honest, unlike their previous style of experimental death metal  found on their debut album The Severed Inception, there’s hardly any “death metal” to be found on this record; they’ve pushed further and deeper into experimental noise-rock territory. You could even say the album artwork is deceptively complicit in their stylistic shift, looking very metal while simultaneously packing in the aggression via alternative means. Previous throaty death-growls have been traded in for a more frenzied vocal straining, helping to add to the overall exasperated feeling. But don’t let that fool you, each of these songs, with the exception of the short instrumental “Vergelmer”, is as blistering, wild and as extreme as any deathmetal you’ll encounter, and with sizable helpings of grind and experimental seizures.

Some personal stand-out tracks worth mentioning are “Zen”, with it’s impassioned and insane metalcore on steroids (and clever use of piano towards the end as well). “The Supreme Treachery” starts with a lumbering down-tuned intro that sounds like a dying and/or malfunctioning woodchipper before blossoming fully into the “kitchen sink” track of the album by featuring a little bit of everything (and are those sitar flourishes I’m hearing around the 3/4 mark? Damn cool!). Serving as the longest song on the record, it’s arguably the most engaging and a definitely a top highlight. Title track “The Oculus” earns high points for non-stop inventive riffing (Gorguts fans take note!) before a slow-motion dissolve melts various noises and feedback into a cacophonous mess. “While Surpassing Ether” switches gears, ever so slightly, into a dark, noisey, and somewhat tribal, spazz of a song with woodblock accompaniment – yes, I said woodblock. “Memento” rules with terrific and inventive guitar work, and “Cavadver Inc.” will surprise the listener with a seemingly straight-forward build-up before going 100% batshit “I-have-no-idea-what-is-going- on” crazy, packed with feedback, blasts and noise.

There’s a lot of creative ideas on The Oculus and it could very possibly land in my ‘Top 10 of the Year’ list, certainly it’s in the “top 20”. I think part of the appeal is the band’s intensity isn’t fake or contrived, these guys really deliver an album that is intense, passionately played and never boring.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Stacy Buchanan
June 23rd, 2011

Comments

  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    more emotionally charged, heavy, AND intense than Converge?

    I’ll believe that when I hear it.


  2. Commented by: Stacy B.

    I’ll admit, you’re right. Between the three referenced bands, Converge probably wins the “emotional” component… but seriously, when this record bites down, it bites hard and it’ll shake the shit out of you.


  3. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    haha, I’m sorry if that seemed more hostile than it was intended to. even Anaal Nathrakh themselves don’t hit all three of those in ways that beat Converge. I’ll check them out.


  4. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    JEEEEEEEZUS. haha, yes, this is crazy.


  5. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    a little bit of Botch in here, which is NEVER a complaint.


  6. Commented by: Stacy B.

    Well, having three qualifying descriptors between three bands is a bit much I’ll admit :P Oh yea, good call on the Botch comparison!


  7. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    this band are like a fucking beatdown with a mandelbrot set made of rusty nails. thanks for the heads up. with cover art like that, I’d have guessed some christian jud jud band.


  8. Commented by: Maelstrom

    This album is crazy good… Reminds me a bit of the frenetic pace that was The Dillinger Escape Plan – Irony is a Dead Scene (their only good album IMO).


  9. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    Didnt feel this at all


  10. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    Irony is a Dead Scene is awesome, but far from DEP’s only good material.


  11. Commented by: Stacy B.

    DEP is a good reference, but they definitely feel a little more calculated (bad pun?), structured and precise where Inevitable End feels more manic and ‘coming apart at the seams’ (I mean that as a compliment).


  12. Commented by: Reignman35

    I agree with Erik… Compared to their last one, ‘The Severed Inception’, this was a massive disappointment to an album I was really looking forward to.


  13. Commented by: Stacy B.

    All things being subjective, while I do like both albums, this new one sounds much more lively and feral to my ears, pushing their experimental ambitions further. Ultimately my heart beat raced faster and attention was piqued more with their new material.


  14. Commented by: gabaghoul

    lol Nick, what’s “jud jud”


  15. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    haha, it’s transliterated guitar chug. say it aloud.


  16. Commented by: Gabaghoul

    That’s a lot better than ‘djent’


  17. Commented by: shaolinlambkiller

    disappointed they went more in this direction than just adding these elements to a more death metal approach like they did on the previous album.


  18. Commented by: Clauricaune

    I can’t get into this band, no matter how many chances I give it.


  19. Commented by: Stacy B.

    Starting to see a trend where those who were exposed to the band with their more deathmetal-leaning debut are more disappointed at this record as opposed to those who started with ‘The Oculus’.

    Two things:
    I’m curious if those who started with ‘The Oculus’ are equally disappointed when going back to check out “The Severed Inception”?

    And, is ‘expectation’ the main culprit here or are there other factors at play for the disappointment?


  20. Commented by: skelmo

    I hadn’t heard of this band before reading the review, but it sounded interesting so I checked out tracks from both albums. Both were pretty damn sick, but I tend to lean more toward stuff like found on The Oculus. Will definitely have to get the album sometime.


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