I hate labeling music, it’s as simple as that. Occasionally it is a necessary evil when it comes to reviewing a release from an up and coming band. New listeners look for reviews such as this, and keywords to associate with. Often times a band name will give away their style, others may look towards album art. In this digital day and age most will just choose a quick internet search and be done with the whole thing. Even though I hate labeling music, sometimes it just helps, and this is one of those sometimes.
Our subject today is the debut EP Dementia, from the Portuguese based Elision of Animus (EoA). Technicality and brutality are the order of the day. Take heed thrashers this is not your average deathcore band; blending elements of classic death metal with death, grind and math core EoA create a refreshing take on a tricky genre. Yes, there are traditional breakdowns here (bass drops and the occasional open string fills are sprinkled liberally throughout). Where they excel is layering an excellent lead guitar in over the entire EP, adding a more progressive and technical element to the mix.
Vocally, traditional deathcore is the order of the day. Small amounts of clean singing and chanting augment an excellent, demonic delivery. The layering is excellent and works well going from the high end death metal screech to the low end “core” brutality. The drums are intricate, and lacking information I am hard pressed to tell if they are completely programmed or someone who is very skilled with triggers and working a digital kit. Either way this is one area that does not mesh with the rest of the band. So much else on this release has a great personal touch (the final track Memorial is spectacular) that the in-human drumming takes away from the rest of the work. The guitar work ranges from fast and frantic to downright haunting. The progressive elements of the band shine through on these slower passages and help make for a more diverse listening experience. Constant brutality, if not tempered with some form of serenity can become tedious. Elision of Animus excel in this regard, giving the listener just enough time to catch their breath before the insanity renews again. Finally, the solo work of the guitarist is much appreciated. These are not your standard ‘let’s yank on the whammy bar for 30 seconds’ dickery that the genre is so full of. Great use of some standard tuning, and shifting between clean and distorted tones make the leads really stand out here.
At a scant 20 minutes (give or take) we are given a brief taste of what they can do. Showing that labels, while helpful do not always need to apply. This debut does a fine job of blurring some traditional lines within an increasingly stale genre. Fans of brutal, technical metal with a progressive lean would be wise to keep their eyes on Elision of Animus.
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