The Essence Of Time Matches No Flesh
The third album from these Californian tech/death thrashers, The Essence Of Time Matches No Flesh never failed to impress, just like the band’s earlier outputs. Comparing them to a much thrashier version of Death or Cynic is not completely out of the question, but I’m also getting comparisons to a lesser-known personal favorite in early Quo Vadis. From listening to “The Silence In Ruins” we’re hearing just as much of a latter-era Death performance as we might expect, albeit with touches of black metal tremolo and some killer shredding to boot. Frontman Tanner Poppitt can play just as well as he can sing, carrying very much the legacy of Schuldiner with him and fans will be quite pleased with that. Of course, this is death metal after all and it’s a bit odd to call the approach “singing” but in any form of music, such vocal utterances are literally just that. The man has a certain sense of emotion displayed when approaching some notes that is not out of the Death/Cynic/Atheist playbook and wholly feels like a continuation of this style. I could make this review incredibly short and mainly state that fans are getting a definite technical death/thrash record in the manner of the genre’s great progenitors, but that might be selling it a bit short. For instance, Poppitt isn’t the only man responsible for the performance here as guitarist Necro Nick also serves up some rather notable melodies to keep things as mechanically inclined as is humanly possible, with Richard Orellana providing a certain bass backing as Mark Rivas pummels the kit. I wouldn’t consider the record overly bass heavy, but being a thrash album certainly entails a certain abrasive quality from the drums, which we are definitely getting here. Technical grooves are also thrown around here and there, which give the act a little bit more accessibility than some of their peers. But not so much, as there are certain places as can be found in “Abstractions” where the band will noodle around with progressive atmosphere – albeit in the most vicious manner. Make no mistake, this is still a very tumultuous release with one switch moved firmly into the intelligence of technicality and bombastic prog, while the other finds itself moved into what I would consider to be a complete and utter ass kicking. It is not so intelligent that it feels pompous, nor is it incredibly over-produced. In this case that is a good thing, because it allows listeners to experience the band in a more raw and in your face sort of manner which would not be unlike their stage performances. The record literally feels like it was produced with the same level of quality as perhaps an early Atheist or Death disc and feels like a blast from the past in that sense. Plus, the riff melodies truly deliver on all fronts, moving effortlessly into the solos which add to give it that classic feel. Here we have a band that isn’t focusing so much on being evil and dissonant, but rather punishing and tasteful.
I do have a feeling that this record could end up being a monument of sorts for some, but let us keep in mind that despite the level of hard work and effort that has gone into it, Madrost still aren’t quite re-inventing the wheel. To their credit however, such a task is almost impossible to achieve these days with at least ten or twenty new albums being released in the metal category on a daily basis. The disc itself just comes in at a little over thirty-five minutes, but feels sufficient. More than sufficient, to be honest. I’m quite pleased with Madrost this time around and I’m sure that you will be too. It’s an absolute must for tech/death and tech/thrash fans, as well as the majority of metalheads in general. A record like The Essence Of Time Matches No Flesh is the kind of record that only gets better with more listens. Hopefully it doesn’t get buried under the household names and these guys finally get a chance to shine on the much larger stages that they so rightfully deserve.