Throw those horns, whip your locks and hail the dark lord himself… or at least that’s what Madrost‘s latest crusher, the appropriately titled The Essence of Time Matches No Flesh will have you doing halfway through track one. Having already released two other albums in the last half decade these guys seem pretty on point with what they are doing musically. Madrost never sound like they are having to work at their sound; it all seems very natural and not a single note is ever out of place. Progressive thrash with a sci-fi edge is what this album is all about so strap yourself in and enjoy the ride.
Crammed full of licks and solos perfect for masters of the air guitar, you are very likely to find yourself tapping along (at the very least) to many parts of this record. Right around the 3:27 point of the opening track “Eyes of the Deceit” I always get sucked into the really sweet pocket of melody and groove that Madrost manages to create. It is both catchy and memorable and eventually gives way to a face-melting solo towards the end of the lengthy track. This is a trick that you will hear used time and again on this record; the half-time guitars seem to carry extra weight with the rolling thunder of double kick work and ominous bass line chugging along underneath.
The length of each song is one of the notable aspects of this release. Somehow these maniacs manage to keep the intensity up during the duration of the entire 37-minute album despite many tracks breaking the five-minute mark and a few even bordering on the six-minute point. Only one song on the album, “The Silence in Ruins,” is less than four minutes long and although it works for the track I doubt it would have suffered from an even longer mid-section passage or an extra bridge. In fact the outro breakdown/solo is crushingly heavy and I actually wanted it to keep going on for at least another thirty seconds; however, the trick is to always keep them coming back for more as they say.
Speed is a virtue for the lads in Madrost and these thrashing death metallers play at breakneck speeds, often threatening to break the sound barrier with some of their galloping guitar riffs and furious double-bass kick drums. The clean passages of this record are also noteworthy because the bass really comes to the forefront and shines in these moments, something that is scarce on heavy records cluttered with heavily distorted guitars. It’s scary how good these guys are at writing breakdowns and contrasted against their speed it makes for an interesting dynamic. Literally every song has a catchy and moshingly gnarly moment, like the excellent 55 seconds in “From Sand to Dust” around the mid-point. I mean these riffs and lead lines just sound vicious.
Although this is a thrash/death metal record at its core the progressive elements of the band really come to the forefront. I’m not afraid to say that fans of old school Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer will find some worship worthy material on here. Obviously fans of Revocation, Iron Reagan and Evile should also find a plethora of head-bangable riffage and pit worthy chugs. The progressive elements and light death metal seasoning make for a potent combination of aggression. They are also surprisingly creative as proven on the intro to “No Future” with its wild trembling guitar intro. This captivating trick pops on the album time again as on the album closer “Dimensions”.
I hope you like thrashing death metal littered with all sorts of dive-bombing whammy bar solo goodness! Pretty much every song on this latest release by these underground champions has a few blazing solos ripping through it. It kind of reminds me of that saying “every cloud has a silver lining”, except none of these clouds are bad to begin with. The band plays with a ferocious might – blasting d-beats, thick bass lines and palm-muted power chords make up the bulk of this album’,s playtime but in no way is this a bad thing, thanks to Madrost’s capable song writing talents. Final track “Dimensions” contains all sorts of goodies; kind of like a metal loot bag it leaves you with a sampling of everything you’ve had and then throws a few more megatons of insanity at you just for the hell of it.
The Essence of Time Matches No Flesh is a blast of creative output from the thrashier sides of progressive death metal’s family tree. Hailing from Orange County these metalheads come from a region with a pedigree of some of the finest metal and punk has to offer. Luckily they hold their own and keep their home towns reputation fully intact with their masterful precision, incredible songwriting and convincing performances. The Essence of Time Matches No Flesh is a welcome addition to my library of mayhem and I still haven’t gotten bored of it after a few months of listening to it on a weekly basis. I wasn’t so sure about this release when I first heard it but after some time Madrost has more than impressed me.