The Essence of Time Matches No Flesh


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Your car needs this, and so do you.

I have a visceral aversion to any kind of physical violence or aggression. I tend to shy away from situations that involve it or lead up to it, which I am usually good at assessing from afar. That being said, listening to a track like “Abstractions” off Madrost’s The Essence of Time Matches No Flesh always gives me the most peculiar sensation of not minding to get involved in the worst kind of drunken bar brawl and go berserk headfirst with an insane grin on my face.

And that, I guess, is why mosh pits exist.

Whether for slam dancing pleasure or for cerebral enjoyment, the quartet from Orange County, California that is Madrost have effectively crafted the songs on their third album to the end of maximum energy and dynamics. The overall vibe is somewhat reminiscent of earlier Revocation or Black Fast in that respect, although the focus here seems to be on pummeling power rather than on technicality: no overt guitar acrobatics, but a sound amount of muscle and skill put into a very efficient choice of riffs (Misery Index may be Madrost’s closer cousin in that respect). Relentless double-bass drum work and a range of hoarse barking and screaming vocals (Tanner Poppitt’s raw throaty style brings to mind Tony Portaro’s performance on Whiplash’s Ticket to Mayhem, but this was even more apparent on Madrost’s older work) are elements that define much of the album’s death-thrash flavor. In the mix, they combine nicely with a distinct mid-voiced guitar distortion that adds a growling/grinding quality to the riffs. In case you’re a bit of a gear geek, here’s the place to experience the guttural tone of the Engl Powerball II amp in its full glory.

With a duration of little under 38 minutes, the length of this album works in its advantage, leaving the listener with the overall impression of a gust of fresh air, a strong shot of espresso, or a pleasant adrenalin boost (just pick one, depending on the mood or circumstances). Seven tracks seem to be put together according to a similar design: in between the start and finish of a catchy main riff, exciting bridge sections take turns, and clever twists are given in the right doses. The already mentioned “Abstractions” is a good example of a buildup that is quite diverse yet doesn’t feel assembled at all, with two different bridge riffs linking the initial chorus riff (those drum backings!) to the verse riff, followed by an up-tempo switch - for starters. Two more riff sections, transitional harmony leads and a harmonic bridge part with some mutant robot voice sample (do I hear an echo of Realm’s “Energetic Discontent”?) lead the listener back to the crushing chorus, after which the cycle of riffs resumes, adding a solo section. Now that is a well-crafted death/thrash tune. Tremolo-picked riffs stand out in the blistering “Eyes of the Deceit” (the deceptive down-tempo of which will put you off guard for the next tracks) as well as in “The Silence in Ruins” and “Scorned”. Advanced face melting sets in with “From Sand to Dust” with its infectious chorus riff, swift tempo and double-bass drum madness. “No Future” generates enormous drive with its tempo changes between verse and chorus, its hardcore-ish bridge riffs, and an elated final section with harmonic leads. “Scorned” draws its momentum from a tremendous opening section, very effective transitions, and catchy riffs throughout. The heavy “Dimensions” rounds up the whole, starting with the kind of contemplative clean intro that initiated “Eyes of the Deceit” as well.

Leaning more towards the spirit of the band’s name - mădrost, pronounced 'muh-DROST' with stress on the last syllable, is Bulgarian for 'wisdom' (the band has no other Bulgarian ties, by the way) -, the lyrics are more philosophical here than on their previous albums. The dystopian themes and the album’s sci-fi artwork may vaguely justify a Vektor comparison, incidentally, although musically speaking the only clear reference in that respect would be the harmonic lead part in “No Future”. Not groundbreaking in any profound way, this album’s appeal is primarily in its relentless energy, its freshness retained throughout thanks to its overall length, in combination with clever musical craftmanship. It is simply a joy to listen to this. On a personal note, The Essence of Time Matches No Flesh saved my mood and sedated my nerves on several occasions during traffic jams or boring commutes. So there, therapeutic value to boot. Objectively a 3.5, subjectively the easiest 4.

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user ratings (5)

Comments:Add a Comment 
October 24th 2019


Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks dude. Yeah it's cool stuff, think you might like it.

Staff Reviewer
October 25th 2019


Nice review, since you mentioned some similarities with Misery Index, I might check this out.

October 25th 2019


Album Rating: 3.5

@TheNotrap thanks man. Yeah, I figured that Misery Index mention might draw your attention

I'm adding the bandcamp link to the review.

November 11th 2019


Album Rating: 3.5

C'mon peeps, don't be afraid. Fun album to czech out.

September 25th 2020


Album Rating: 3.5

New album by these guys is out. Definitely worth a listen as well.

February 2nd 2022


you guys might find this at least somewhat interesting: The word "madrost", in varying spellings and pronunciations (i.e. "moodrast", "madrost", "mudroast", etc.) actually means "wisdom" in some Slavic languages. : P

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