Adimiron first caught my attention with their 2014 release Timelapse. The esoteric Italian progressive metal group immediately garnered my interest with a percussive, pensive death metal sound that was raw yet refined. Et Liber Eris, the follow-up to that album was released on November 3, and is Adimiron’s most mature and nuanced release to date, taking their established identity into a number of expressive directions.
The album stirs with a slowly swirling guitar, evoking the disoriented, dancing lines of Mastodon. This guitar work gathers form, substance and momentum alongside increasingly complex drum rhythms before The Ocean-esque singing joins the graceful fray. “The Sentinel” acts as a thesis for Et Liber Eris, laying out an elemental progressive death metal framework to be built upon with the seven following tracks. There are easy comparisons drawn from the start of this record – Opeth-inspired melodies, rhythms akin to Gojira, and a more sober Mastodonian atmosphere all permeate it from its beginnings. However, Adimiron focus these impressive influences into an enjoyable 42 minutes of music all their own.
“Zero-Sum Game” further builds the creeping, meditative tone of the record through a series of sustained guitar lines and percussive bass. Though a step away from the more death metal-oriented works of their past, it is songs like this that capture Adimiron at their most compelling and nuanced. Exemplary of this is the track’s closing moments – “Zero-Sum Game” builds momentum and energy, seemingly towards a fitting climax, but instead leaves us wanting with a thoughtful, pregnant silence.
With the album’s identity clearly established within the first two tracks, Adimiron use the rest of Et Liber Eris expanding and investigating the corners of this sonic character. This can be heard in the intensely heavy and alternatingly jammy “Joshua Tree 37” or the bittersweet rise and fall of “The Coldwalker”. “Zona Del Silencio” finishes the album with the knotted, exploratory soundscapes that reference its inception. The near six minute track takes its time building to a huge and heavy climax before disembarking on a devastating denouement.
There are few thrown stones that could penetrate a release as strong as Et Liber Eris. The guitar work is compelling, the arrangements are dynamic, and the production manages to be bother gritty and clear. Even the pacing is conscious of the music’s complexity; eight songs on an album are more than enough for tracks this entrancing. Songs like these beg for an accompanying midnight meditation or moonlight walk. They capture the uncertainty and unease within us and reveal it for a closer and cathartic look.
Yet, for all their strengths, there is a certain sameness or familiarity that leaves certain songs indistinct from one another and reduces some of the impact of the record. Et Liber Eris is a well-constructed progressive metal album, but is perhaps too comfortable in its own identity.
Notable Tracks: “Zero-Sum Game”; “Zona Del Silencio”
FFO: Gojira, Mastodon, Opeth, The Ocean