Inanimate Existence

Review: Inanimate Existence – Liberation Through Hearing

Liberation Through Hearing (2012)

USA, Unique Leader Records, Technical Brutal Death Metal

Interludes and atmospheric instrumentals in death metal usually make me reach for the skip button. This is DEATH metal, and I want to hear some face-ripping riffs, not some cheesy keyboard background music from a bad vampire movie or recycled acoustic guitar filler tracks. However, every now and then I hear an atmospheric track that actually makes an album better, rather than simply disrupting the flow. Liberation Through Hearing is one of such albums, and with eight instrumental tracks, it demonstrates how top-notch technical death metal can get even better when a band is willing to experiment with song variety.

Inanimate Existence plays ultra heavy technical brutal death metal that will appeal to fans of Burning the Masses and Arkaik. However, you will find yourself remembering not only the mind-spinning technicality and face-crushing heaviness, but also the interludes between.

The vocals from this Californian five-piece dwell primarily in the lower range of the spectrum. The guitars are thick and drive the songs, while the double bass is relentless and topped by well-mixed and heavy-hitting drums. The guitar leads have a progressive/avant-garde vibe to them, hence the comparison to Burning the Masses, such as in hallucinogenic lead to open the dreamlike “A Myriad of Visions;” and the visually surreal lead to close “The Dyscarnate Self Paradox.”  The bass guitar is mixed appropriately high, smacking with a septic, rubbery tone.

The instrumental tracks are transmissions from beyond the void, often combining cosmic waves with acoustic clean plucking. Check out the deep-space signal of “Transcendent Absorption,” or the creeping and sinister yet mockingly folkish “Path to Enlightenment.” In particular, the blend of old Earth and future space shows through in “Psychonaut Trance,” wherein emissions escaping from a black hole spontaneously combust into a Flamenco-style acoustic lead.

Inanimate Existence deserves a spot at the top of the genre for their technical death metal alone, but its the atmospheric tracks that really caught my attention (and I felt just as weird typing that as I imagine it is to read it!). You owe it to yourself to hear this record, and not to even consider hitting that skip button.

Rating: 9.5/10

Author: Witness to the Void

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