Review Summary: Inanimate Existence offer penance for their fallen comrades.
Ironically, Inanimate Existence
has had a short-lived yet very animate existence thus far. Formed only four years ago, this nouveau Californian death metal act already has two solid LPs under their belt and show no signs of slowing down. Their latest, A Never-Ending Cycle of Atonement
, seems to be a meta representation of technical death metal as a whole. It’s a dense record, as well as a visceral one. Seldom are there moments of refrain, and even during these softer phrases there’s always a lingering sense of dread, knowing at any second a grisly riff will come barreling out of your speakers. Even the brief moments of melodic progression are layered in such a way that incites apprehension rather than tranquility. A fine example would be “Out of Body Experience,” which has abundant clean guitar textures and the only instance of clean vocals on the album. However, both elements are used as atmospheric constituents, making the track’s heavier moments seem as though they were always there, veiled under a false sense of security. Combine this with a superb production job and technically proficient musicians and you have the recipe for a fantastically ferocious metal album, and more importantly, an impactful one.
Sonically picking up where Anata
left off, Inanimate Existence don’t pull any punches. After a minute-long intro serving as the calm before the storm, the band grasp onto your auditory senses and drag them into a grimy abyss of maniacal riffing and unyielding blast-beat barrages. The recurring progressive overtones are exactly that – overtones; rarely the center of attention, but vaguely present throughout the long haul. A Never-Ending Cycle of Atonement
is meta in the sense that it recognizes the never-ending cyclical nature of genre stereotypes – bands that regurgitate and rehash the same material without the slightest incentive of breaking new ground (i.e. Arch Enemy
) – and Inanimate Existence offer penance for their contemporaries; a public display of atonement in a brutal 45-minute package.