Somehow, I’ve become the resident progressive metalcore writer for the blog. It’s funny, because I don’t quite fit the bill of the “usual” fan of the sub-genre; perhaps it’s my background in cheesy power metal and progressive metal that enables me to sift through the chaff that makes up a lot of the sub-genre today. Regardless, there are still gems to be found within the ruins (get it) of the scene today and I’ve written about some of them in the past. Today, I’m here to tell you about another one: Exist Immortal and their latest album, Breathe. It features the basic elements which made Misery Signals great coupled with clean vocals, large synths and pop influences that make us think of Devin Townsend. Together, these two sides of the coin create an often complicated album which nonetheless manages to be catchy and moving.
The first track is a good place to start, immediately adding a third axis to the chart of influences surrounding Exist Immortal: Textures. In the prominent drums as well as in the harsh vocals, “Saviour” is pure Duality era Textures. That is, for the most part; near the end it takes an interesting turn, delving into electronics-backed pianos. This isn’t the only time that such electronics will be utilized either. Their central nature is part of what lends this album its own identity and signature. When these electronics blend with the heavier parts of the metalcore influences, they create immensely engaging breakdowns, dispelling the bland and often repetitive nature that these passages contain in 2016. Check out “Invisible Lines” for example and its immediately moving bridges, mini-breakdowns which, because they harbor electronics right in their midst, echo the epic chorus and the larger breakdown that comes after it.
In general, that’s the balance that Exist Immortal offer: heaviness and straight forward aggression coupled with their own, more modern touches, which lead to huge choruses. That’s where the progressive part comes from; instead of simply buckling down on breakdowns or only relying on emotional choruses, Exist Immortal channel both. Thus, Breathe has a longer half time than most albums released today in the sub-genre, reliant as they are on only one element. You can head over here to purchase it, it’s been out for a few weeks now. If you’re at all a fan of the above influences or simply of well made, engaging and yet intricate music, this album is for you.