Reflux
The Illusion Of Democracy


5.0
classic

Review

by Thompson D. Gerhart STAFF
July 29th, 2009 | 30 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An ode to the evolution of human music.

Reflux are a DC area metalcore band who will likely only be remembered as rising guitar prodigy Tosin Abasi's project prior to Animals as Leaders. But it's oh-so much more.

In case you haven't heard of the chap yet, Tosin Abasi is the guy that's been flying around Twitter and YouTube attempting to garner followers for his new effort Animals as Leaders using laughable monikers such as xnextgtrgodx. As much as we may want to just laugh at the seemingly random comment and outlandish statement of the name, Tosin seems to be the real deal.

However, as may be implied by a statement Tosin initially made to Prosthetic Records when asked to make a solo album for them, this isn't a self-indulgent project of one-man with a backing band. The politically charged lyrics and mixed vocal stylings of Ash Avildsen, the apt and at times funk-inspired grooves of bassist Evan Brewer, the appropriate, slightly experimental, and never displeasing drumming of Vinny Vinh, the mixture of palm-muted chugs, masterful sweeps, blazing solos, multi-finger tapping sections, and perennially ear-catching harmonies of Tosin Abasi make Reflux a beast to be reckoned with.

The sounds of this album range from the expected chug riffs and breakdowns (Above the Pryamid and the Eye) to tap and slap sections one might expect from Buckethead or Victor Wooten (The Sudden Realization...) and everything in-between. Literally, everything. The band throws influences and stylings together in a manner seemingly as indiscriminate as the musically illuminated phrase "We are all one / The only race is human" sung out in a more reserved, clean tone by Ash in "An Ode to the Evolution of Human Consciousness."

While the aforementioned track may be one of Ash's best on the album (along with tracks such as Single File to Bliss and Modern Day Babylon where Ash slides seamlessly between clean vocals, screams, narration, and chants), there are a few tracks, such as the inpronouncable -=[*]=- and The Keats Persona which provide indulgence into the more placid side of the band's virtuosity while still making full use of the band's musical capability rather than turning the band into a one man guitar masturbation festival. The album does, however, allot one minute and fourteen seconds to the simultaneously beautiful and chaotic tapped passage of "1984-2004."

The album provides intrigue and skill from every angle on every track. The true strength of Reflux lies in their ability to evolve throughout the course of a single album and constantly provide new and exciting passages. Though the band did not stand the test of time, this is an album that surely will.



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user ratings (106)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
deat (5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
AtomicWaste
Moderator
July 30th 2009


2706 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Album is so good.



Feel free to rip me apart now.

lucazade22
July 30th 2009


533 Comments


'evolution of human music'...as opposed to animal music?!

AtomicWaste
Moderator
July 30th 2009


2706 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Song title puns for 800, Alex.

Zettel
November 1st 2009


661 Comments


Good review. The album is actually pretty good. I'm listening to it right now. It doesn't kill me, but somehow, I keep coming back to it. A whole lot more interesting that these new bands everybody talks about. The band had potential, but we have Animals as Leaders, so I can't really complain.

Inveigh
January 6th 2010


26281 Comments


Huh, from the way this album's been described to me before, it sounds like this is the Mr. Bungle of metalcore (as in the self-titled Bungle album). Is that anywhere close to accurate?

SlightlyEpic
January 6th 2010


5784 Comments


no it's wanky metalcore that isn't bad

Inveigh
January 6th 2010


26281 Comments


by wanky do you mean there's lots of wankery

SlightlyEpic
January 6th 2010


5784 Comments


I'm curious as to what I would mean otherwise by 'wanky'

Inveigh
January 6th 2010


26281 Comments


I'm not British

SlightlyEpic
January 6th 2010


5784 Comments


ah fair enough, yeah I meant it has some guitar wankery and stuff

Inveigh
January 6th 2010


26281 Comments


I was really just messing around though man, although I'm really not British. I figured that's what you meant just wanted to make sure, and maybe it was a small (and unsuccessful on my part) attempt at humor by asking that. I've no problem with a little wankery here and there, especially in metalcore, as it needs to be spiced up somehow these days.

SlightlyEpic
January 6th 2010


5784 Comments


yeah I mean I gave it a 4 and I hate most everything so it can't be that bad

Inveigh
January 6th 2010


26281 Comments


Cool, I was just going through the site making a list of all the albums I've been meaning to buy/download for awhile and when I saw this one on your list it reminded me people have been recommending it for awhile. It is now officially on the list.

jmh886
October 18th 2013


1842 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is pretty awesome. Interesting hearing Tosin play this style.

jmh886
October 18th 2013


1842 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Kind of reminds me of Of Malice and Magnum Heart

wacknizzle
October 18th 2013


14516 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I need to jam this more, it's super good but I always forget about it

Spec
December 23rd 2013


34766 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Terrible summary ugh.

ChuckyTruant
December 26th 2013


15763 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this deserves so much more attention

ChuckyTruant
February 24th 2014


15763 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I mean this is really one of the best metalcore albums, evar.

Tyler.
October 22nd 2014


13465 Comments


i hate AAL and i dont really want to check this cause im sick of the 'progressive' metal/core/djent?/peripherycore/dgaf and i feel like this is something like that. maybe im wrong idk



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