The Unconsciousness of Living
posted on 12/2011 By:
Illogicist is doing its level best to convince you that you’ve got it all wrong with this anti-tech-death thing, that the fevered protestations of “all flash, no substance” are undeserved. Three albums in, and these Italians remain an underappreciated voice of cogent melody and actual songcraft. The band’s debut effort, 2004’s Subjected, was a beastly debut and sufficient to grab the attention of Willowtip, a fitting camp to release ‘07’s The Insight Eye and to now bring us The Unconciousness of Living. Throughout this discography, Illogicist has been consistent in their approach, doing their best to build a name by going against the grain. And ironically, the band has tried to move the style forward by looking back, in that a core influence in the band’s sound is rooted in the later work of the brilliant Chuck Schuldiner and Death. They’ve taken to heart Schuldiner’s progressive, technical approach, resulting a final product only tangentially death metal. Yet Illogicist remains an unmistakably modern sounding outfit, not far off in spirit from, say, Atheist’s crushing reunion record, Jupiter. It’s this blend of contemporary implementation of classic influences that makes this band worthy of your attention.
And then there are the songs. Not riffs, not solos. Songs. They’re not all home runs, mind you, but they do stick to the ribs, and the best of them (“Ghosts of Unconsciousness,” “The Same Old Collision” ) are impressive as hell in their ability to counterbalance the voracity of the jagged riffs and weaving basslines with some downright lethal swaggering groove. All that said, the album does have its liabilities. Most notably, the high-gloss spit-shined production leaves the vocals too high in the mix and, at times, less than convincing. And then there are just some ill-advised riffs, like the eyebrow-raising careening intro to “The Mind Reaper.” But each song is packed to the gills with riffs, and the few missteps here and there are typically forgivable. Ultimately, The Unconsciousness of Living succeeds by providing further proof that technical, progressive death metal doesn’t have to be a sterile, disposable listen.
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