Release DetailsLABEL Hope Prevails Productions
RELEASED ON 6/1/2005
posted on 8/2005 By:
Wow. Here’s gem of a record from Pennsylvania’s Aletheian (formerly Crutch) who have to be one of the US’s best undiscovered death metal bands. Superbly done technical, atmospheric and progressive death metal that isn’t pretentious or too unoriginal.
Now, this isn’t the brutal technicality of Gorod, Capharnaum or the like, but the elegant, flowing, swirling, synth flocked artistic complexity that resembles the classic styles of Atheist, Death, Cynic, Believer, recently Sceptic and Theory In Practice. The line between overly showy intricacy and actual song writing is perfectly implemented as Aletheian command attention between mesmerizing musical dalliances with slower, more atmospheric passages. The slower moments actually reminded me a little of the horribly underrated and now defunct US band Summer Dying.
“Paragon” opens the album in grandiose style with delicate clean vocals over Joel Thorpe’s raspy screams and the eloquent Schuldiner inspired guitars of Alex Kenis and Donny Swigart that shimmer with skill, and slow to draining ebb. “Broken Legacy” is a bit choppy for me, considering the openings track’s perfection, but it gives Kenis and Swigart a chance to flex their appendages and allows drummer Joe Walmer to be a little more experimental. “Out of the Shadows” returns to the more artfully progressive melodics and “As the Fall Breaks” is pure latter era Death, down to the jazzy introductory bass lines and hypnotic mid paced angular riffing. Joel Thorpe isn’t the most dominant vocalist I’ve heard, but he is serviceable “An Open Grave” is arguably the album’s most aggressive track, with Thorpe adopting a lower register growl and some atonal clean vocals, but the entire track takes a while to settle down, before some sprawling, epic guitar work finishes the track in style. The short but convoluted “Shepard’s Fold” has some flamenco acoustics and clean vocals as it segues into the far more competent “The Devine Line” which should make guitar aficionados weep with inspired bridges and sweeping structures all wonderfully played and intricately placed. “Call to Arms” and “Burnt offerings” close out the album with technical gusto, with “Burnt Offerings” being a fittingly somber instrumental piece to close the album with a well deserved sigh.
The production is as expected from a tiny startup independent label, so it’s a little thin in places and Thorpe could me more commanding, but aside from those minor facts, Aletheian demand your attention with superb musicianship and finite song writing that point the way towards filling Death’s shoes.
Oh by the way, if you hadn’t grasped from the band name, label name and song titles, Aletheian are a Christian band.
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