The Pitch: The second album from California progressive, technical death metal band Entheos. “A veritable who’s who of the scene, Evan and Navene not only co-founded underground luminaries Animosity, but [also] served in the ranks of The Faceless and Animals As Leaders, respectively…the lineup solidified with the addition of Travis [LeVrier] (ex-Scale The Summit).” FFO: Vale of Pnath, Inanimate Existence, Exocrine
What I Like: Entheos occupy a similar genre niche as groups like Exocrine, and to a lesser extent, Wormed: Technical and progressive metal iiiiiiin spaaaaaaaaace. Sorry, I was having a Muppets flashback for a second there. From the sonic atmosphere to the album art, there is certainly an overarching sci fi theme. This is expanded by the excellent synth work, which feels like a cross between Born of Osiris and Stranger Things. But aesthetics aside, Dark Future is all about strong compositions and performances. The bass, drums, and guitars (unsurprisingly given the talent listed above) are all spectacular both in isolation and, more importantly, collaboration. From the churning, djenty hooks of “White Noise” to the expansive jazz elements of “Melancholia,” these musicians form an electrifying singularity that is only further cemented by the death metal vocals of Chaney Crabb. Chaney helps to pull the concepts together with powerful snarls and sparing use of effects ; and honestly I didn’t even know she was a woman until I looked over the promotional pics.
Critiques: Entheos have a few elements on this album that help their sound stand out, but by and large this is just another modern progressive death metal album. It’s impressively played, but it also feel somewhat interchangeable with a number of others.
The Verdict: Dark Future is another grand addition that firmly establishes 2017 as the year of technical death metal. It’s a consistently likable album filled with killer instrumentation and oodles of intergalactic atmosphere. Buy this one Friday from Spinefarm Records.
Flight’s Fav’s: White Noise (II), Inverted Earth (I), Sunshift (II)