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lunedì 19 gennaio 2015

Holotropic - Permeate

#FOR FANS OF: Progressive/Groove Metal, Meshuggah, Animals as Leaders
From the seemingly endless fertile grounds of Slovakia, this progressive-minded piece tends to wholly envelop the progressive side of their sound with a dense, multifaceted album that really has more going for it than it seems. Heavily influenced by both the Djent and Technical Death Metal realms while adding plenty of experimental marks, Middle-Eastern harmonics and just plain schizophrenic leanings, this collision of extremity results in some extremely off-the-wall arrangements here with the mixture at times never really sounding all that cogent to heavy metal styles yet that experimentation is the bands’ greatest strength here at being able to somehow mix all these different styles together into what does amount to a cohesive sound at times. This is really more of a songwriting tour-de-force than it is a performance record since this one does wonderfully show how to effectively change from all these different styles at once, though naturally the ability to effectively go there is what makes this work as well. Some of the songs are overall hit-or-miss, but the ability to keep this interesting and not descend into mindless meandering is a definite strongpoint. Intro ‘Judge’ opens with clanking folklore instrumentation before settling on ravenous riffing, dynamic rhythm changes and dynamic drumming that really sets the stage for the bands’ explosive attack to come. Likewise, ‘Scintillate’ again works the Middle-Eastern vibes into the fray before using the bands’ dexterous drumming and sweeping riff-work to create a finely-honed and dynamic attack that just seems lacking in urgency throughout here. The wacked-out ‘Rupture’ features jazzy lounge-music to open into djenty rhythms with plenty of chugging patterns, pounding drum-work and irregular riff-work to make for a veritable sweeping style that continually keeps shifting around into such different patterns that there’s a lot to like about how well this one integrates all the parts into a solid whole. The instrumental ‘Wysinati’ provides different echoes with moody guitar-trinkling and jazzy drumming while the buzzing bass-lines offer up their most full-on Djent-inspired release here, though if intended for a breather it’s certainly placed rather oddly this early into the track order. ‘Traveller’ offers dynamic Middle-Eastern rhythms against groove-filled drums-blasts, swirling chug rhythms and continues the Arabian influences throughout the different rhythms and arrangements that still remain rooted in their Djent-inspired background, effectively making this the album’s central highlight and greatest showcase of their overall styles. ‘Tantrums’ comes off like generic Meshuggah-inspired Djent/chugging with technical patterns and pounding drumming swirling throughout, much like ‘Filters’ though the former is a tad livelier than the latter and is a better effort due to that. The short instrumental ‘Hunch’ is another short breather with folklore-ish riffs and droning atmospheres which sets up the album’s massive epic, ‘Integral’ which is another outstanding piece of progressive-minded work by managing to incorporate clean vocals into their extreme sound as the deep chugging patterns, heavy Djent-influenced arrangements and long-winded arrangements sweep and soar through twisting, long-winded rhythms here that shift and turn into various dynamic patterns and keeps the bands’ penchant for challenging arrangements intact. This makes for an exciting conclusion that should help them expand and grow in the scene for years to come with this kind of innovation and extremity mixed effectively together. (Don Anelli)

(Self - 2014)
Score: 85