Review Summary: Old sputnik user lays down siqq rhythms, yr moshing, don't lie.
When you're listening to Willows as an album you're expecting it to be somewhere in the vein of early Sumerian records style deathcore/proto djent like 2006-08 Veil Of Maya, OG After The Burial, etc., and obviously [and most importantly] Meshuggah but woops you been goofed, there's way more prog. This is why North Carolina's As Oceans stands out in a sea of other chuggy post deathcore scene bands, they effectively blend mosh and prog, in fashion of the thinking man's metalcore, as opposed to blanding out in some djenty middleground severely lacking in the tones necessary for proper pit riffment.
The point being that dope rhythms are a great concept but most chuggy metalcore bands these days don't got the right tone for thiz. Tone, in my opinion, is the most important aspect of the pit riff. If you have something too loose and muted it sounds like a v-neck. You want your riffs to sound like a broken neck from getting kicked in the jaw because homies cannot stop moshing to this. In this regard As Oceans truly delivers. I get my cardio in daily doing interchanging sets of windmills, spinkicks, and floor punches to thiz.
Onto the prog. Willows flows seamlessly from one groove to another with lead hooks that are either shreddy af or some aether sh*t that take your mind into deep space, peppered with intermittent catchy melodeath and atmospheric segments accompanied by mad heavenly gregorian af singing. There's even a tendency towards the end of the EP to fall into almost Opeth territory riffing, specifically the bridge portion of the last track Artaosis Pt II: Deliverance, my personal favorite on the ablum.
Vocally, this album is tough. Logan does your highs and lows as pretty much everyone does anymore but he has an extremely dynamic middle range and transitions between ranges very fluidly AND the dude can sing, he's a boss.