The Unconsciousness Of Living (2011)
Italy, Willowtip Records, Technical Death Metal
The Unconsciousness of Living mows through town like a whirlwind of razor blades and mathematical equations. Illogicist’s 3rd full length arrives four years after their last full length (2007’s The Insight Eye). With such time since the last release, faithful fans would hope for an album that exhibits the amount of writing assumed to be put into each song. And Illogicist does not let us down: The Unconsciousness of Living is an extremely dense and complex technical maelstrom that, while difficult to appreciate initially, is extremely rewarding to fans willing to give the album more than a single spin.
With EP titles like Polymorphisms of Death and Dissonant Perspectives, its not surprising that this Italian quartet weaves a complicated web of dissonant and atonal riffs. No midpaced 90s death metal drab here. Their influences (listed as Death, Pestilence, Cynic, and Atheist) are the roots of modern technical and progressive death, yet their sound is fresh and more entrenched in modern dissonance (think later Anata or even the most recent Decapitated).
The guitars bring technical mayhem, yet never divulge into what gets dismissed as modern wankery by critics of the genre. Instead, The Unconsciousness of Living takes album title and theme and fuses them into the writing with technical hooks that dig into the brain and leave the listener, could it be, actually humming melodies? Meanwhile the bass guitar is suitably rubbery, demonstrating the influence of Death and Atheist. The drums, while not the blitzkrieg focus mixed into the front of some death metal bands, carry the winds of destruction, yet attack all their own. As with technical death metal that carries its progressive influence, the vocals are more along the higher rasp of Chuck Shuldiner or Kelly Shaefer (of Atheist).
The featured track from the album is opener “Ghosts of Unconsciousness,” which showcases the band’s sound to distant purveyors of this storm. However, later tracks like “The Mind Reaper” show that this band isn’t the standard shallow death metal twister that pulverizes the village and leaves behind a trail of bodies, but rather works its way into the psyche of the survivors, leaving them with recurring dreams and daily delusions of mathematical atrocity. The complex riffs will leave a listener slightly confused but thoroughly amazed as they continue to have flashbacks days later. This is an album that will definitely appeal to progressive technical fans of old, and for the newer fans of the hyper technical bands that get criticized for having no soul, an excellent segue into said bands of old.
Rating and one-line-metal-verdict:
8/10: This storm may not catch you ear on the first listen; but you will be glad you gave it that third chance when you are humming along at work.
Information taken from the band’s official myspace page: