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Madrost: The Essence Of Time Matches No Flesh

Thankfully California based metal outfit Madrost aren't as unwieldy nor are they as unnaturally forced as the title to their third album, The Essence Of Time Matches No Flesh. Critics couldn't quite decide whether the thrash, death or technical side of the band dominated their previous album, Into The Aquatic Sector, but here progressive death with a technical edge seems the order of the day. The more retro side of the band largely, if not completely, sidelined in favour of what can be seen as something a little more current. Gone too are the high pitched vocal excursions from Tanner Poppit (who also plays guitar), a more believable low end bark employed in its place and most convincingly too. Bassist Richard Orellana also returns, but a few things have changed in the Madrost camp in recent times, guitarist Necro Nick joining the ranks in 2015, while Dystopian drummer Mark Rivas jumped on board a year later. The quartet have clearly locked in place, the patience shown in unleashing this new line up paying off through the wide roaming attack of "From Sand To Dust", where the more obviously expected extreme metal moments are offset by a stinging guitar solo and cleverly inserted moments of calm. "Dimensions" is happier going straight for the throat, the aggressive approach hammered home through double kick blasts and powering guitars that land somewhere between the swooping dive of a World War II fighter plane and a stampede of wild stallion.

With large sections left as instrumental workouts, where things don't quite fit so strongly into place is through the band's reliance on a similar formula throughout, leading to a signature sound that staggers into repetition and an over eagerness to milk each song to a point where they just about outstay their welcome. When you factor in that this album is only seven songs long and rolls home in just under forty minutes, it might have been an idea to shorten the cuts on offer and conjure up another couple to fill in the running time. After all there's been three years between album number two and this latest offering. Those grumbles aside Madrost have again offered up a seriously solid selection that hints at greater things ahead, without ever quite hitting those suggested heights just yet.

Track Listing
1. Eyes of the Deceit
2. The Silence in Ruins
3. From Sand to Dust
4. Abstractions
5. No Future
6. Scorned
7. Dimensions

Added: January 7th 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Madrost at bandcamp
Hits: 735
Language: english

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