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Continuum: The Hypothesis

The best song title on this album is clearly "Wasps in the History of the Weak." I have no idea what it means, but it has the pitch and rhythm of something quite interesting, something dramatic and powerful. The song is pretty good, too. The idea of wasps reminds me of those passages in The Shining when Jack Torrance reflects on the ways a wasp's nest symbolizes certain kinds of human experience.

But enough of all that. Continuum is largely the project of Chase Fraser, a musician mostly known for his work in Decrepit Birth and Animosity. The other performers on this album include Ivan Munguia (guitar), Riley McShane (vocals), Nick Willbrand (bass), and Spencer Edwards (drums). The music here is extreme technical death metal, the kind played with such precision that it sometimes sounds like a music box cranked up all the way. I admire the energy of this style, though I confess that I sometimes find it exhausting. Technical death metal, particularly the kind that aspires toward "otherworldly" sounds, requires an all-out sonic attack and that is what this album delivers. Fans of this style should love this album; it's played to perfection but is also fascinating. There are even a few quieter moments. I'm not talking about a ballad or anything like that. No, I'm thinking of "Where the Worlds were Left," a weird and rich instrumental that highlights this bands even more experimental side.

There's no hiding the fact that this style won't appeal to everyone; it tends toward short bursts of power, always accompanied by the constant and overwhelming tap-tap-tap of the drums. Just catching all the drum beats on this album would require at least a half dozen dedicated spins through this album. They are relentless and inhuman. Aside from the drums, the guitars also routinely spell out lead passages that are impressive and interesting. The players here are not afraid to experiment with different time signatures and unconventional scales. To me, the guitar parts set this band apart. All the musicians here are gifted, but the guitarists hold the lead.

Be sure to read up about this album's concept: a reflection on the nature of infinity as postulated by the "continuum hypothesis." I can't relate even a basic history of the concept, but what I've seen so far is pretty interesting. This is a weird, but engaging, release.

Track Listing:
1. Hypothesis: A Profound Discovery
2. The Epiphany
3. Hypothesis: Evolution
4. Absolute Zero
5. The Awakened Creator
6. Wasps in the History of the Weak
7. Perspective
8. Where the Worlds Were Left
9. A Surreal Descent
10. The Steppes to Ascension

Added: June 24th 2015
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1576
Language: english

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