Instincts is the latest self-released album from Costa Rican extreme metal act Sight of Emptiness, and they've surprisingly gotten plenty of exposure in their native country, opening up for many well known metal bands such as Megadeth, Amon Amarth, and Dark Tranquility, as well as travelling over the UK to play at the Bloodstock Festival in 2007 (for which they won an award for best unsigned band at the festival.) Here we are now in 2014 and the band is back again with their brand new platter of melodic death metal, a really enjoyable album that stands on its own, but is also noteworthy for a bunch of special guests. Current Solution .45/ex-Scar Symmetry vocalist Christian Älvestam lends his powerful vocals to a few tunes, and guitarists Glenn Drover (ex-Megadeth) & Ralph Santolla (ex-Deicide/Iced Earth) also pop up as well. The band; Eduardo Chacón – Vocals, Andres Castro – Guitars, Rafael Castro – Guitars, Gabriel Arias – Keyboards,
Esteban Monestel – Bass, and Rodrigo Chaverri – Drums, do a fine job on their own, delivering heavy hitting death metal with lots of melody, complexity, and top notch musical ability. Santolla blazes on the crushing melodic death metal of "Obsession", and Älvestam's soaring clean delivery plays off so well against Chacon's brutal growls on "Fearless". Costa Rican pianist Manuel Obregón lends his talents to the otherwise full-throttle metal track "Paradox", and the band shows their prog-metal side on the excellent instrumental "Sanctuary", featuring some stellar guitar & keyboard textures.
If you are a fan of early Soilwork, Scar Symmetry, and Mercenary, then make sure you seek out Instincts, a very cool slab of melodic extreme metal that has a lot to offer. Sight of Emptiness are certainly a band I'm sure we will all hear more from in the months and years ahead.
1. Essence (featuring Whitfield Crane)
2. Instincts (featuring Ole Halvard Sveen)
3. Obsession (featuring Ralph Santolla)
4. Fearless (featuring Glen Drover & Christian Älvestam)
5. Paradox (featuring Manuel Obregón)
6. Deception (featuring Christian Älvestam)
7. Hostility (featuring Christian Älvestam)