Despite being released on April 1, Entheos’s full-length debut is no joke. Boldly claiming its territory, Entheos‘s The Infinite Nothing is an album that anchors its diverse and progressive tendencies to brutal grooves and growls. Building on the following amassed by the group’s 2015 EP Primal, this record is set to push Entheos into the niche of technical, rhythmically intriguing death metal previously occupied by early Veil of Maya and The Faceless. Their recent addition to Artery Recordings will hopefully bring their unique brand of brutality to the masses.
Starting with “Perpetual Miscalculations,” the tone of the first half of the album’s eight tracks is set through a wickedly intelligent onslaught of powerful, concise riffing, atmospheric electronics and impressive instrumental performances. Chaney Crabb’s diverse growls and shrieks anchor the songs in aggression, never relenting in their intensity. This song deftly walks the line between technical death metal and groove-centred deathcore, blowing me away with instrumental wizardry while simultaneously creating relentless mosh-worthy moments. It is interesting to hear Navene Koperweis, formerly of Animals as Leaders, bring his virtuosity as a drummer and melodic electronic flourishes to the intense death metal of Entheos.
“An Ever-Expanding Human” opens up the second half of the album, exploring more progressive sonic territory than the previous death metal oriented tracks. Guitarist Malcolm Pugh (Inferi, A Loathing Requiem) combines ear-catching riffs with atmospheric and dizzyingly impressive lead work, managing to be both intense and innovative. At different times, he conjures the seamless riffage of Marc Okubo with the dissonant shredding of Michael Keene and the progressive spirit of Between the Buried and Me. It is essential to note Evan Brewer (ex-The Faceless) and his percussive bass work, carving out sonic territory for an instrument so often overlooked in music this heavy.
“Mind Alone” and “Neural Damage” close the album, managing to mix together everything that made the previous six tracks on this full-length amazing: frenetic technicality, grinding grooves, and experimental synths. Where some of the more progressive moments of the album occasionally lose their momentum, these final tracks beautifully balance brutality and innovation.
I was initially skeptical of Entheos’s debut, worried that it may rehash the work of the member’s previous bands and fail to carve their own niche. However, the raw, intelligent energy of this debut quickly changed my opinion. This forty minute full-length, despite a few rare missteps, manages to be a concise and powerful album that establishes Entheos’s unique identity while demanding recognition for their new place in the genres of technical death metal and progressive deathcore. Though some of the guitar tone and mixing choices did not sit well with me, the album was bold, brave and multi-faceted, never failing to take risks and explore new sonic territory. I greatly enjoyed the album and look forward to following the young group’s future releases with the potential to take their genre into unexplored territory.
FFO: Old Veil of Maya, The Faceless
Notable Tracks: “Perpetual Miscalculations,” “The Infinite Nothing,” “Neural Damage”
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