ECLIPTIC VISION – Ecliptic Vision

ECLIPTIC VISION – Ecliptic Vision

The 2nd album of the New Yorker death metallers is excellently written technical death/thrash with copious melody, drawing comparisons to Exhumed or Immolation, with excellent balance between technical skill and memorability.

The Syracuse, NY ensemble presently consisting of Joshua Rivet (vocals), Ryan Caughey (guitars, programming), Derek Ponton (bass, backing vocals) and Vincent Lawyer (drums), formed in 2015 (having actually worked on full time engagement for up to 6 years prior) and released their debut album "Dissimilar Dimensions" a year later, followed by the "Omphalos Of The Void" EP (2017), signaling a new face of progressive/technical death metal marrying Immolation-ary songwriting precision to Exhumed’s catchiness a’la Carcass’ "Heartwork", with more brutality and crushing heaviness. On their second full length, this here eponymous, they take their craft in a decidedly more progressive pastures without sacrificing hooks or power.

Something can be said for a brutal death metal album which a woman who usually isn’t into metal beyond the likes of latter Theatre Of Tragedy, calls excellent and catchy music, especially when that woman happens to be the reviewer’s wife. Indeed, my wife asked me one evening to share whatever I happened to have currently playing on my smartphone and I succumbed to her request with fear and trembling. The first notes of the first song proper, "Anthropophage" (I skipped the album intro "Singularity") evoked a smile on her beautiful Polish face as she spoke in admiration of the main supercatchy latter Death riff bolstered by the patented Immolation-ary squeals. She had similar esteem for the slightly Ulcerate-ian "country death" of "Crux Of Infliction" but here she opined of Joshua’s main and Derek’s backing vocals, "this guy sounds funny even though I’m sure he wants to sound scary". Then she recommended both tracks for her 9 year old son and scalded me for being initially so reluctant to share it with her. This was the very first time my wife had words of praise for brutal death metal.

Just one complete revolution of "Ecliptic Vision" confirmed my wife’s excellent taste in music. This album has that same feeling Fear Factory’s "Demanufacture" or the aforementioned Carcass’ "Heartwork" had, with no weak tracks and every song excellent in its own right. Just consider the favorite "Lobotomizer" strongly recalling Morbid Angel’s "Domination" scale acrobatics with melodic transitions a’la Death’s "The Flesh And The Power It Holds" or "Cephalic Anomaly" where the excellent section recalls Caliban’s "Goodbye" or Chimaira’s eponymous. As for melody and hooks, just one listen of the last song proper, "Alientity", an amalgate of Dark Tranquillity and Fallujah, prove these guys expert instrumentalist and songwriters they are. Add to it tasteful if weird synth/ambient mini-work "Boundaries of Thought & Form” (tracks 1, 5, 8, 12) interwoven throughout the album’s fabric courtesy of Matthew "Machine Moon" Jaime and you have one of the most satisfying, mesmerizing and engaging extreme metal albums to enjoy by males and females even over 40 years of youth.

There’s just one thing that won’t let me give this excellent album more than it got and it has to do with track length. Even though there are already so many details, ebbs and flows in every song, there are moments where one screams "Is that it?! Are you kidding me?!" and the fabulous "Alientity" is the worst offender because it ends abruptly at the most interesting moment of its development. Gentlemen, I realize this is death metal but please, with sugar on top, stretch the compositions some more, allow them to breathe a little! Clearly you have every tool at your disposal to beat even this work on the next installment!

If you like the works of Exhumed or latter Carcass while appreciating the percussive precision and melodicism of Fear Factory’s "Obsolete", and, of course, you are a sucker for anything that even smells like latter Death, eat this up and I guarantee you won’t go to bed hungry.