Saturday, November 7, 2009

Dismal Lapse - Eon Fragmentation (2009)

Dismal Lapse is another bright young hope in the field of technical death metal, the next in a line that has produced recent standouts like The Faceless and Odious Mortem. For a trio, this is a highly talented group of guys, capable of technical bursts of precision, furious arpeggios, and incorporating a wealth of rhythmic change-ups into each track. Eon Fragmentation is the band's debut full-length, following the The Nameless Faceless EP from 2008.

I won't call this band's music innovative, but they manage to combine their complex technicality with a brutal, focal anchor that keeps the material dark and oppressive. Drummer/vocalist Chris Barnum has the usual array of growls and snarls, but his playing is tight beneath the warring virtuosity of bassist Jason Brehm and guitars Evan Gravatt. Though the entire album features a series of maze-like compositions, I favored the brutal ballet of "Tetra Hydra Cannibinol", the pulverizing "Divide and Devour", the grooving beatdowns of "U-235" and the fluffy bunny love of "Clipping the Wings of Hope". Okay, I'm lying about one of those descriptions. "Addicted to Tomorrow" and "Impurities" are also a pretty sick opening volley for the record.

Again, the level of talent here is rather impressive. If I have any criticism of this record, it's that the songs often feel more like exercises in acrobatism than coherent hymns of brutality. As a result, the band's complex structures and ever shifting tempos might dissuade the fan of more sinister, old school death metal. But the album sounds loud and crunchy, the musicians have enormous potential, and it's a good record that you can enjoy through multiple listens, if tech death is your thing. Easily recommended to fans of Suffocation, Severed Saviour, Deeds of Flesh, Odious Mortem, Abysmal Dawn, Revocation, The Faceless, etc.

Highlights: Tetra Hydra Cannibinol, Divide and Devour, Clipping the Wings of Hope, Impurities

Verdict: Win [7.5/10]

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