Technical death metal is a genre that started out with so much potential, and was founded by some of the most influential and beloved bands in metal. However, as time marched on, this label got worn out, overused, and the entire scene became bloated. Then, every now and again, a band will come along that adds something completely different. Atheist used jazz and Spanish influences. Cynic brought a softer side to the genre. Gorguts turned consonance upside-down. Spawn Of Possession refined quintessential with their album Incurso. And now Inanimate Existence have completely revitalized the genre, bringing it closer to its roots while still leaning towards the future.
A Never-Ending Cycle Of Atonement is a blistering, perfectly paced journey into the denizens of death metal. This record encompasses progressive metal, technical death metal, hard rock and even NWOBHM. The riffs are menacing, none more so than the main riff on the track ‘The Catacomb Of Mirrors.‘ It is one of the best there is, not only in this genre but in any realm of metal. The album ventures a lot towards the melodic side, with many highly intricate parts being harmonized to form one unique blend of technical proficiency and brutality. There is something to satisfy every metal fan’s craving, whether it be for an amazing guitar solo or just simply for the heaviest grooves like the opening riff of ‘The Rune Of Destruction.’ There isn’t one riff that is forgettable, one riff that lacks something. It’s all here.
While we’re on the subject of not missing a thing, the production is flawless. This has to be one of the best mixes that anybody has ever heard. A bad mix can make even the best songs terrible, and a great mix can knock an album out of the park. This record falls under the latter category, it’s punishing volume panned perfectly, super punchy drums and bass, and one of the best guitar rhythm tones to ever exist. The onslaught of awesome never ceases, and the record starts and ends strong. While instrumentals in heavy music are nothing out of the ordinary, it was really a treat that on the album’s closer, ‘Dueling Shadows’, they let the tech take a backseat to the ambiance, the melody. There were even a few keyboard parts interspersed on this record, and those little added extras are what really make this album pop.
The one fault that was discovered after dozens of repeated listening however, was the end of the record. While the closer is absolutely gorgeous, sticking a really great epic tune or a really menacing closer to just kind of close everything by going as hard as possible seemed to be the only thing left to be desired at the end of each listen. However, the band deserves plenty of praise for their ability to take a risk and end such a heavy album with such a melodic closer. It really speaks a lot for the band’s confidence, and any band that is willing to just try to take a chance every once in a while is definitely a respectable one.
So, at the end of the day, this record will not only please you; it will seduce you. It’s everything and more that the genre has needed over the past few years. Sometimes, it just takes a spark, and the guys in Inanimate Existence are already ablaze.
Inanimate Existence – A Never-Ending Cycle Of Atonement