Sculptured is the other band project from Agalloch guitarist Don Anderson, and their upcoming release on The End Records is the stunning Embodiment, comprised of five songs that just drip with extreme metal conviction and prog rock experimentation. Joining Anderson here are Jason Walton (Agalloch) on bass, Andy Winter (Winds, Age of Silence) on keyboards, Dave Murray (Estradasphere) on drums, and vocalist Tom Walling. Right from the outset, "Taking My Body Apart" pulls you right in with its mix of crushing guitars, clean & growled vocals, intricate drum fills, and proggy keyboards. The complex "The Shape of Rage" recalls Cynic, Opeth, Carcass, and Winds, as the band fires off intricate guitar/bass/drum passages while Winter lays down plenty of organ and synth tones. The vocal interplay between Anderson and Walling here is quite good, as the clean passages and growls do battle almost in the same way that the instruments are weaving around each other. The more straight-forward "A Moment of Uncertainty" follows, as the band takes on an almost Rush-like drive, with Murray's drums blasting away with a fusion intensity, Anderson's guitar riffs forceful and melodic. Avant-garde metal best describes the style of "Bodies without Organs", as deep growls and raging organ lead the charge over machine gun blast beats and rippling guitar lines. The bombastic and almost doomy epic "Embodiment is the Purest Form of Horror " closes out this release, with thick, beefy riffs from Anderson, majestic piano from Winter, and lots of varied vocal tones. It's the longest tune of the bunch at close to 11-minutes, but has plenty of peaks and valleys, time & meter changes gallore, essentially just a splendid progressive metal song. Murray also shows on this one why he is perhaps a drum god in waiting.
Release date on this puppy is February 19, 2008, so mark your calendars and get ready for what will surely be one of the most talked about progressive extreme metal CD's of the year.
1. Taking My Body Apart (8:31)
2. The Shape of Rage (6:04)
3. A Moment of Uncertainty (6:31)
4. Bodies without Organs (7:37)
5. Embodiment is the Purest Form of Horror (10:36)