This came out last august but is too awesome to not have on here, so for instances where we missed the boat and it's still in the harbor we have our "Lest We Forget" column. The first song throws in almost every element I like in music and metal, there is a darkly ambient intro that vomits up some metal with hardcore and death metal leanings, yet manages to bring Celtic Frost to mind.At the end this song even employs gothy clean singing that would make Atriarch proud. Haven't keened in on the lyrics there is something about a complacent stare. They have synths accenting the riffs to the goth soaked "Summer Isle". Some times his goth voice reminds more of Bella Morte or 69 Eyes rock n roll vein of death worship rather than the more hipster Ian Curtis take. It's not what you would expect to be haunting the deserts of Arizona.
Only two songs break the four minute mark, yet these guys managed to cram a lot into every song, with out sounding bi-polar like Mr. Bungle and they are less sprawling and bouncy than Sleepy Time. There is a Swedish metal feel to "Glance Away" with more owed to In Flames than At the Gates. There is an intangible element that keeps this from having that mall metal cheese to it. They adhere to more conventional parameters of metal in almost a Goatwhore like manner on "Split Screen" That Swedish influence I heard earlier is not clearer to me as the Wolverine Blues era Entombed rears it's head. This hammered harder into place before the goth creeps out of the casket on "Terminal Burrowing". They also rip into some rowdy rock n roll in a spastic manner not too far removed from Kvelertak. And then some melodic guitar begins to please my ears as they put their vampire teeth back in. A pick slide kicks up the dust on "Deep End" the Entombed influence here marries Venom before the more melodic side is invoked by the synths and the spooky vocals aren't far behind.
There is some dark nasty goodness in "Dominance Shifts" but until the goth part comes up some of the metal becomes a blur of blasts and bellowing. There is some old school "NWOBHM" riffing that jumps up onto the monitors on "Battle Moon". Which might be my favorite song that holds a powerful enough chug so the goth parts don't steal the show. One first listen it didn't hit me how much they went into the darker sound until I sat down with some head phones and began picking this apart. At the same time when the goth side of the band is the predominant sound on "Where Seasons Lay" it doesn't have the same impact, I think they are a metal band first and a goth band second or third. After a synth interlude the album closes on an even darker note with the ominous "Attrition". The guitar has tons of punch, the bass is largely buried and the drums have a raw room sound them. The lyrics to this song jump out as they roar about gouging out their eyes. The clean guitar solos that slide into place around the four and a half minute mark show these guys can really play. Some of the more roaring Entombed moments became a blur in places, but I think this album deserves a 9.5 and look forward to hearing more from them.