It is certainly no secret that we have a special admiration for Seattle progressive metal band A Sense of Gravity. Ever since their debut album, Travail, became one of our top albums of 2014, we and many others have been eagerly waiting to hear what comes next. Thankfully you all won’t need to wait too much longer, as the band announced a few weeks ago that their sophomore LP, Atrament, will be released on November 18. We’ve already received the promo for it, and you can get a taste of what at least two of us think about it in the Heavy Pod Is Heavy Cast from a couple of weeks ago (start at 1:11:52). Surprising few people though, we like it! We especially liked the first single released from the album, “Echo Chasers,” which took some of the more aggressive, riff-focused work from Travail and pushed it even further.
Given that Travail was great in part because of its blend of massive slabs of progressive death with other, unexpected elements, that makes their selection for the second single from Atrament, “Shadowed Lines,” even better, which we are very pleased to be premiering today below.
“Shadowed Lines” is a perfect foil to the immediate ferocity of “Echo Chasers,” as it begins with some dreamy guitar progressions and beautiful falsettos from vocalist CJ Jenkins before bursting into typically grand proggy goodness. It’s a perfectly anthemic piece of work, constructing epic choruses that you’ll be hard-pressed to keep from getting stuck in your head and shouting along. Though the track is absolutely a feature for Jenkins, whose full range is truly on display here, the rest of the band get plenty of moments to shine. Take the brilliant piano break about halfway through, giving Brandon Morris an opportunity to flash his lightning-fast fingers on the keys, or the slick guitar solo from Morgan Wick shortly after leading into an exhilarating double guitar attack between him and Brendon Williams. It’s a real tour-de-force for the entire group and just a terrific song all-in-all.
Also of note is the fact that the lyric video is actually pretty good! I don’t mean to sound patronizing here because I really mean it. The vast majority of lyric videos out there are just not good, either because they look lazy or too simple (kinetic text over different iterations of the album art), are too concerned with slick effects that become distracting, or are just kind of baffling (see pretty much any attempt at 3-D lyric videos – STOP TRYING TO DO THIS). This one here though has more than enough interesting and artistically-appealing elements in it to keep things engaging throughout. It also helps that the visuals appear to be very closely linked to the album art and its concept without straight-up copying it or directly pulling elements from it. Some of the 3-D modeling could perhaps be a bit more polished, but combined with the other imagery it still works.
If you’re a fan of either of these tracks or just excellent progressive metal in general, then you will have a lot to look forward to in Atrament. You can pre-order the album on ASOG’s Bandcamp here.