Element: The Energy

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Element: The Energy
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Element: The Energy
Brutal Death Metal, Technical Death Metal
Brutal Bands
November 26th, 2010
Release length: 38:29
Myspace
Website
Element is a Technical Brutal Death Metal act from California in the US. If you couldn’t tell by the artwork on the cover of the album, the group has a science fiction lyrical foundation for the material. However, what one wouldn’t know is that this is a one man operation as of late, featuring Mason Gregory performing all vocals, instruments, and drum programming in the studio, while there are live only band members present. But, does this release feature anything really worth diving into the unknown for on their second sci-fi themed full-length, The Energy?

Element proves that not all one man projects can feel limited, as there is plenty of Brutal Death Metal, and doesn’t go over the top with Technical compositions and performances like some of today’s more well established acts seem to be doing. In fact, the music itself is more of a steady Brutal Death Metal that just has a little more intricately timed chords, as well as some extra complexity to the guitars. This is something you’ll pick up on right away with “Vexed”, but it shines the brightest on “A Gesture from November”, which is just a solid Death Metal song that takes a notable Brutal approach, mostly in the vocals and the music itself sounding a little heavier then traditional Death Metal, and what is a focus on the song’s timing being much tighter, and not so much on the complexity of the chords being played. The material itself for this song is catchy and addicting, and really leaves a lasting impression, much like the following track “Everchanging”, which follows the same kind of performance, but has a more haunting feeling that perfectly compliments the sci-fi lyrical nature of the album, coming off as if inspired by some of the more sci-fi based Hypocrisy albums that are more Death Metal then Melodic.

Vocally, the album could be a little stronger. For the most part, the approach is a gutteral style, but nothing all that impressive. There is a distortion utilized on them for this recording that makes them, which is a little confusing as it does it’s job at making them fit a science fiction-like atmosphere and environment, but at the same time it makes the vocals come off rather hollow. In turn, this takes away some of the bite of the lyrics, and really puts more on the music to drive the album along. Luckily, the music does a good job of carrying the album for what the vocals lack, and there are plenty of great, hard hitting tracks like the two mentioned earlier on, as well as the hard hitting “Centipede”. The only real problem with this recording is the introduction track, “Circles of Ascension”, which really doesn’t do much at all to set any kind of tone for the recording, except to establish the science fiction foundation behind the lyrics due to the atmosphere and ambience of the track before it bleeds into the following powerhouse, “Vexed”.

At first, The Energy may not seem to be all the album could have been, but once you make it past the rather deceiving opening track, the rest of the album is strong and full of solid Brutal Death Metal with just enough Technical musicianship to help carry the album where the vocals falter. Other then that, the album doesn’t necessarily have any real flaws, and the music is done well enough that you’ll come back for plenty of repeat spins down the line. In the long run, it all boils down to whether or not you can appreciate the often subtle science fiction input to the lyrics, and even in the music in some cases, such as on the intr of the title track, “The Energy”, leading to a much slower track that can be either a hit or miss for the listener. In the long run, The Energy is well worth investing some time in.

01. Circle of Ascension – 2;14
02. Vexed – 4:56
03. The Energy – 6:47
04. A Gesture from November – 6:12
05. Everchanging – 4:35
06. Centipede – 4:12
07. Into the Everdark – 4:03
08. Liquid Space Eyes – 2:46
09. Dreaming Forever – 4:51
Initial Pressing Score: 8/10

Element (band)

Digital review copy of this release provided by Brutal Bands.