|Brutal Death Metal, Technical Death Metal
September 6th, 2014
Release length: 33:55
While In Torment‘s material usually has titles that can lure fans of the genre into expecting Origin level intensity, that isn’t quite the case here. Sure Sphere of Metaphysical Incarnations has its share of highly complex material scattered about that we’ve come to expect from bands like that and a toned down Braindrill, but it isn’t just restricted to that approach. In fact, “The Unnatural Conception” finds plenty of complexity within the timing signatures of the main verses and the melodic chorus that show traces of Progressive Death Metal execution on par with Obscura‘s melodic tendencies. There’s also a mild slam (or what sounds like one) just past the two minute mark that doesn’t bring the performance to a crawl, but acts as a gateway to some hostile groove-filled riffs on par with recent Cannibal Corpse offerings. This may all seem like a mix of hero worship, but it all retains a unique, consistent sound that only vaguely is shadowed by their obvious influence here, as well as with the tracks that follows.
“Divine Universal Awareness” has a mixture of mid-tempo to faster paced material that a lot of bands in the genre would take the opportunity of just spamming triggered bass kicks to. Instead, the music flows smoothly from start to finish with plenty of technicality in the chords that lead to some infectious hooks that can reach rather epic levels. Of course having layered growls with the harsher rasps in the background to fill what few gaps remain is a nice touch, especially given how crisp and clearly understood most of the lyrics end up being. “Into Abyssal Landscapes” has some fairly technical riffs and drumming for the Death Metal field, but its the truly dark chorus that stands out the most. The heavy twanging bass presence adds an extra level of intimidation to the astral environment the slower hooks create when slamming into play, not to mention a solid Neo-Classical style guitar solo, all of which reminding listeners of the aural landscapes Abysmal Dawn can turn out.
But then you have some experiences like “The Extinction Process”, which are just brutal assaults through and through. There are a few moments where melody does play a factor, but this is found more in the bridges and to build up towards more technical aggression like around fifty seconds in. The bass guitar is also given a chance to shine in a good deal of the performance thanks ly to the solid, consistent drumming throughout that rarely deviates from the established style other than a quick two-step inspired shift just past the two minute mark. “Sphere of Metaphysical Incarnations”, on the other hand, is an absolutely depressing cut. Right out the gate you can tell this one is dramatically different thanks to the noticeably slower pace and thinner overall presence that carries into the main verses. This is ly due to more traditional time changes with simpler chords and drumming. There are times where the music can seem to drag on, like around the two minute mark, but the incredibly moody chorus that ushers in a moment of isolation, as well as the guitar solo, kind of make up for those extensive passages.
Overall, In Torment manages to pull from a number of Death Metal legends to create an album that shares both “technical” and “brutal” compositions without relying on showing off near inhuman guitar skills and drums that are more trigger than man. While not wholly original, it’s how the band takes these influences and weaves an astral environment through most of the material that carries a fairly distinct and unique sound to it that makes this relatively unknown Death Metal five-piece one to really pay attention to, opening up the doors for more variety in their compositions than just the stand “get in, destroy, get out” method of today. Of course there are a few cuts that don’t quite hit as hard as the ones outlined above, such as the tame and fairly typical “Far Beyond Mortality” and “The Threshold (Transcending the Matter)”, but if ever presented with the opportunity to check out Sphere of Metaphysical Incarnations, or even any of In Torment‘s previous works (though their more recent efforts are easily the most memorable), fans of this brand of Death Metal definitely shouldn’t pass it up.
01. The Unnatural Conception – 3:51
02. Divine Universal Awareness – 3:14
03. Into Abyssal Landscapes – 4:14
04. The Threshold (Transcending the Matter) – 3:47
05. Sphere of Metaphysical Incarnations – 5:44
06. Far Beyond Mortality – 4:00
07. Mechanisms of Domination – 3:38
08. The Extinction Process – 2:48
09. Beholding the Everlasting – 2:40
|Initial Pressing Score: 8/10