Monday, January 23, 2012

Aτнεisτ - Elεмεиτs (1993)

Although recorded hastily and begrudgingly at the behest of contractual record label obligations, this final album from the unfortunately short-lived classic career of Aτнεisτ (until 2010 atleast) is about as good as jazzy death metal got two decades ago, and thus could be considered something of a landmark at the time of it's release.

Befitting of it's namesake, Elεмεиτs serves as both a primal exercise in harsh-bled melody and a dissection of the various primordial components that formulate this band's sonic DNA. Fascinating stuff even in moments of obtuse clarity: the drumming proves jazzy and unbelievably flexible whether it's gliding along a mercurial groove or pummeling your skull to jelly, whilst the guitar work of then-newcomer Frank Emmi is a razorbacked swine that runs you down with unbridled belligerence, cutting through the mix with precise yet vital abandon in tandem with the mindboggling bass work courtesy of Tony Choy.

Although not an accessible record by any means, Elεмεиτs is still the friendliest and most approachable serpent of the snakepit that is the aural realm of Aτнεisτ, and is essential listening for anyone who claims to be a fan of technical metal in the first place.

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