Release Date: 06/01/18
The album starts out with the ambient, airy “Nexus”, this combined with the excellent follow-up track “Tesla”, pretty accurately aligns expectations for the album. What they offer right from the get-go is this yin-yang of their softest side, followed by their most straight-forward progressive death metal side, which works to make the remainder of the album far more surprising. Not to right off “Tesla”, it’s a very good track, it’s just doesn’t tread new ground the way several of the other songs on here do.
“Nautilus’ Cage” features some of the neatest moments, featuring some really neat circus-y guitar leads and an atypical borderline-toy piano sounding piano outro. “The Pivotal Flame” picks the pace up for a bit, even featuring some blastbeats before getting into heavier territory and briefly offering some high-tempo flashy guitar leads before slowing it down again – this time with clean guitars and some sheeny psychedelic production that makes the whole thing sound positively ethereal. This part continues on with a really neat bass line and sax lead, brought to you by the Burial In The Sky’s bassist/saxophonist Zach Strouse… the very same dude who brought you all Rivers of Nihil’s sax parts on their latest and greatest Where Owls Know My Name. The sax lead carries on as distorted guitars come back in, and finally, vocals. The whole thing is quite moving. After the 5-minute park the contemplative instrumentation is given extra depth for about 30 seconds by including some serious heaviness over the more lax guitar lines, before fading away into space.
“Psalms of the Deviant” starts out as another one of those modern, feelsy progressive death metal songs, but its overall aggression and shifts in mood and tempo, especially a little before halfway in, make it feel more their own. Though there are still a few moments that quite remind me of Fallujah throughout. Speaking of which, if you like Fallujah, Alustrium, or Rivers of Nihil, this album will most certainly be right up your alley.
There are some seriously sweet riffs on “5 Years”. Not only does the band hint at some older death metal here, but a little before halfway in there’s this angular, not-quite-a-breakdown heavy part that is also really neat. This band manages to be fit a lot of parts into each song, even when the songs are only four and a half minutes. The album itself is only 35 minutes, in fact. Thanks to this, the album doesn’t overstay its welcome for even a moment. I think many bands have quite the audacity to release 60-minute albums that are ultimately quite same-y. I’m glad all the fat was trimmed off this thing. What you get here are 35 solid minutes.
If you think there can’t be a grand finale on a 35-minute album, you’d be very wrong, as the band adequately proves. The album ends in epic fashion. The album’s instrumental title track “Creatio Et Hominus” is quite other-worldly. To my ears, it starts out somewhere between jazz fusion, and even soft jazz, before heading into straight prog rock territory, all while ramping up the intensity and heading into some progressive death metal territory. Fallujah once again comes to mind at this point. This is followed by some Middle Eastern music scales, chord progressions, and slightly-psychedelic middle eastern instrumentation, before heading into more familiar progressive death metal territory once more, eventually followed by a quieter Rivers of Nihil-esque sax lead… speaking of Rivers of Nihil, their guitarist, Brody Uttley, also provides a solo on this track a little past halfway in before the soft and contemplative, sax-filled finale.