Review Summary: Polish tech-death act Lost Soul have truly found themselves with Immerse in Infinity.Lost Soul
is a Polish technical death metal band with a sound catering to fans of Behemoth
, and Necrophagist
. This is one powerful band across every spectrum of traditional technical death metal, and they make plenty of welcome improvements to their mixing and sound with their fourth full-length, Immerse in Infinity
. This is a great record for many reasons, but one that will be immediately noticeable to listeners is its listenability. This is the most well-mastered and well-executed release yet, making it the definitive Lost Soul album for old fans and newcomers alike. Between the studio layering to the superior song structuring, Immerse in Infinity
is the band at their very best -- and they've got quite a bit to offer.
The first notable aspect, from listening to the first few seconds of album opener "Revival", is the atmosphere of the album. Listening to the beginning of this track, your first impression is that of a band that values atmospheric samples and recordings. Well, those really don't come up... ever. "Revival" is the only track that uses a passage like that, to the best of my knowledge. The openings and closings of other tracks have a nice sci-fi feel to them, but other than the occasional synth-and-string pairings, that's just the guitars going full distortion with a barely-audible bassline. The really noticeable sound is the relationship the two guitarists have with each other. The vocalist/guitarist Jacek Grecki makes up a good portion of the band, but his effect is amplified a hundred times over by the second guitarist, Dominik Prykiel. The power of both of these talented guitarists requires something to keep them in check, and while setting the pace is usually the drummer's job, the guitars sound like they were made for each other. That's something called 'quality song structuring'. Heard of it? It's not a myth, I swear -- it's just difficult to come by these days. The structure is something that Lost Soul pays a great deal of attention to, and it deserves the attention. The shortest song here is 5:03; the longest is 9:41. If this band didn't master song structure, they wouldn't be composing such large tracks. Another thing that holds the mix together is the bass guitar, which is unusually pervasive throughout the record. The opening of "...If the Dead Can Speak" in particular has an incredible bassline, and the sound in general feels much more solid than it would without a bass backing it. That's the mark of a good bassist if I've ever seen one.
Alright, you get it. The guitars sound great. The song structure is pretty good. What else is there to Lost Soul? How about the vocal range? Grecki's vocals consist of powerfully-growled and screamed mids, some equally-strong low growls, and the occasional high scream that's often found layered over the mids. Grecki seems very comfortable with mids and lows, which allows the majority of the vocals to flow naturally. His vocals, more than any other part of the band, remind me of Behemoth. The highs aren't included as often, though, but this makes sense; it wouldn't seem like a natural vocal choice for the band's sound, as the mids and lows compliment the heavy drumming and guitar-centred music extremely well. Many of the lyrics are audible, but not all of it is a hundred per-cent clear. I do suggest taking a look at the lyrics, though, because the concepts within seem well thought-out, and the aural execution of the band's ideas is just one reason that Lost Soul continues to grow on me. With a solid structural foundation to build off of, though, it's no surprise that the lyrical themes (Satanism, anti-religion, dogmatic issues) are as well-executed as they are.
The drumming is a great mix of control, stipulation, and speed. Drummer Krzysztof Szałkowski and bassist Damian Czajkowski have an incredibly well-structured relationship within the album, allowing them to retain their individual performances, but joining forces when necessary to keep things interesting. Even without the aid of the bassist, Szatkowski is an amazing drummer who knows how to keep his tracks varied, but befitting. It's a really hard balance, but here we have it. They're all pieces of the album's puzzle. Immense in Infinity
's drum tracks, out of all the instrumentation, probably benefit the most from the high-quality studio production. Szatkowski's feet are blisteringly fast -- even when his armplay slows down --and the drummer shows his skill and versatility many times throughout the course of the album. In particular, "...If the Dead Can Speak" and "One Step Too Far" have an incredibly-rhythmic structure created by the drum-bass relationship. "Personal Universe" has amazing vocal passages backed by fantastic guitar structure.
All of these specific examples boil down to one point, and that is the fact that Lost Soul has crafted an expansive, aggressive, nearly-flawless sound and structure for Immerse in Infinity
, and while the entire album must be heard to understand this fully, a track to really hit home would most certainly be "216". Structurally, "216" goes through several phases of itself, but ultimately links back to a familiar melody. The midpoint of the album is marked by this track, and if you weren't feeling the technical vibe from the band's offering yet, prepare to do so. Things slow down for the opener of "Breath of Nibiru" before winding back and slamming into your face an uppercut of calculated death metal. Wrapping it up and clocking in at fifty-six minutes in length is the eight track, "Simulation". Spanning a whopping nine minutes, forty-one seconds, this album closer is more than a worthy song in its own right, opening with a minute of a cross between African and Native American tribal music, complete with conga drums and bongos. Then, the magic begins, and the well-structured riffs and solos within are the tell-tale descriptors of Lost Soul's true sound. This is what they have to offer - and it is nothing short of incredible.
3.) "...If the Dead Can Speak" (awesome music video)