Inanimate Existence [USA]
A Never-Ending Cycle of Atonement
Unique Leader Records
Technical/Brutal Death Metal
Over the last year, we have already seen numerous excellent technical and brutal death metal releases, courtesy of Unique Leader Records. Just as one begins to worry that things are gonna get try and same-ish, with release after release ultimately showing the same influences, the label drops Inanimate Existence‘s sophomore full length album, A Never-Ending Cycle of Atonement.
Album opener Om Mani Padme Um fits the mood that the cover artwork of the album exudes properly, and one feels as though one were transported into the midst of Mother Nature, a setting fit for quiet meditation. Yet with Omen, the band quickly throws the listener into a chaotic onslaught, with the Hour of Penance and Nile-esque riffs unleashed by Joel and Cameron hitting the listener like a freight train, backed by that relentless beating of the skins by Ron. At the same time, bassist Scott ensures that things are kept heavy with the heavy presence of his bass, and the way he handles the complexity and technicality on the album brings bands such as Origin or even Archspire to mind, and often his bass lines more than just mirror Joel’s and Cameron’s lines, but seek to complement and enhance the overall experience of Inanimate Existence.
Yet Inanimate Existence is more than brutality here, and neither is it simply about technicality, though the melodic and somewhat neoclassical moments that the band tend to indulge in do remind one of the works of bands such as Deeds of Flesh and Decrepit Birth, showing the versatility of the axe-wielding duo. No, what is interesting here is in the whole host of other elements that the band has included to make listening to A Never-Ending Cycle of Atonement as exciting as possible, such as that use of traditional percussions on Bioluminescent Photophores creating a somewhat ritualistic mood, or the rather unexpected inclusion of female vocals on The Rune of Destruction, or that somewhat soothing, calming Duelling Shadows, leaving one in retrospection along with the end of the album.
Inanimate Existence may not be the most technical nor the most brutal band that Unique Leader has signed, but with the amount of surprises that the band has hidden on A Never-Ending Cycle of Atonement, one can be sure that this is one of the most unique album to be released of late.