Review Summary: Substance over style,.... but also plenty of style.
Momentaneous is a wild ride if I’ve ever heard one. It manages to wear its influences on its sleeves while simultaneously shredding through them in a blender to the point where they are hardly recognizable. To name a few, the album recalls progressive giants such as TesseracT, SikTh, Caligula’s Horse, or BTBAM, and its strength lies in how it can match the levels of insanity presented in these groups’ work.
This album also brings up an important question that will likely be the largest determinant (outside of genre) on whether or not listeners will enjoy this. What is more important in the conversation of what makes an album great: Writing or Execution? Of course both factors have a very important role in the sound of a work, but what sits a higher position will affect perception of Momentaneous. For me, I tend to value interesting writing a bit over execution, and that is why this album is excellent for me. The crazy flows from sound to sound do more than enough to keep this thing interesting. “Cold Hands” and “Warm Heart” scratch the itches of a smooth introduction and a welcome reprieve from the insanity, while the remaining tracks will bombard the listener with a schizophrenic montage of progressive aggression.
Now here I may have run the danger of creating a myth that the execution of the artist’s goals and vision are somehow subpar. I want to make it very clear that this is not the case and the playing quality is by no means poor. It is however in comparison to the writing merely the weaker element. The production isn’t as polished as some of Remeo’s contemporary counterparts can offer, and the drums in places are very noticeably programmed. In other places, the vocals are just not quite strong enough to match the energy of the music. That being said, the guitar and bass work are almost always excellent with well chosen tones and precise playing. I hope these minor critiques are able to serve as inspiration rather than complaints as these elements that are slightly weaker are things that could be expected to improve with time and practice, while the writing elements much more difficult to develop are already exceptional.
Perhaps it is cliché to describe the album as a “grower”, but with such a dense blend in styles, I’m not sure a more fit descriptor exists. Songs like “Atomless Bridge” will have you guessing for hours which of your favorite prog metal artists it reminds you more of, while “Berserk Breath” may have a decidedly more ETID feel. Not many artists can accomplish such a seamless transition across this spectrum in the course of 40 minutes, but Remeo has done it exceptionally well.