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Rating:
7.3
Ænimus - Transcend Reality
6 August 2013


01. Asherah's Hourglass
02. The Awakening
03. The Grasp Of Ruin
04. Masterpiece
05. Descent Into Chaos
06. Black Malice Construct
07. Black Malice Alchemy
08. Thrive
09. Heavy Lies The Crown
10. Inertia
11. Convictions
12. Chimerism
13. The Final Delirium


This kind of pretentious, ultra-technical metal that toes the line between tech death and deathcore seems to have become popular in recent years. The style has proliferated into a myriad of philosophical forays backed by breakdowns, with Ænimus being one of the latest to exercise this blueprint. True to form, Transcend Reality is awash with ludicrous complexity, but not so much as to rob it of originality or purpose.

In a genre built entirely around technicality, skill is everything, but it no longer sets you apart from the pack. The solos in the first several songs tastefully accentuate complex riffs and ever-changing structures. This kind of utterly precise musicianship aids the construction of the eerie, mechanical, alien atmosphere bands like Ænimus seem to love, and a handful of jazzy interludes (especially on "Masterpiece," in which these elements continue throughout the song) add some more depth. The deep growls are wholly unremarkable, and even leave something to be desired at times, but the high screams are simply delectable.

Just as Tolkien's dwarves unleashed the Balrog by delving too deeply into the earth, dredging the depths of tech death carries an understood risk of encountering deathcore, and I do not exactly appreciate the breakdowns in "The Grasp Of Ruin" and "Black Malice Construct." And "Descent Into Chaos." And… "Thrive." You get the picture.

Unfortunately, Transcend Reality begins to lose its charm about halfway through. "Heavy Lies The Crown," featuring guest vocals from Eddie Hermida of All Shall Perish and Suicide Silence fame, is fairly unremarkable. By this time, the album has shed its mantle of an artful, somewhat fresher take on exceedingly technical metal and reverted to old-fashioned deathcore. The songs become less memorable, the riffs less ingenious, and the solos less transcendent. "Inertia" kicks it way back up towards the end, but when it comes on, Transcend Reality already feels a bit too long for its own good.

Tech death/deathcore is always a mixed bag. Ænimus mix it pretty well for the first half, and there are at least a few songs on this album that are definitely worth a listen. Good things cannot last, however, and Transcend Reality is ultimately a flawed work, albeit promising.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 8


 



Written on 07.02.2014 by
ScreamingSteelUS
I'm only in this for the money, fame, glory, power, and personal satisfaction.

In my spare time, I fight dragon-pig-C.H.U.D.s in space.

I feel obligated to use up all of my allotted space, so... nah, I'm out of stuff to say.
More reviews by ScreamingSteelUS ››



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Rulatore - 08.02.2014 at 16:24  
Yes, I agree with this review, pretty well written, thanks
ScreamingSteelUS - 08.02.2014 at 19:35  
Written by Rulatore on 08.02.2014 at 16:24

Yes, I agree with this review, pretty well written, thanks

Thanks!
Troy Killjoy - 09.02.2014 at 00:14  
This review is probably your best (in my opinion) in terms of its accuracy. You do a good job at appearing unbiased and you discuss both pros and cons well. Nicely done.
ScreamingSteelUS - 09.02.2014 at 00:59  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 09.02.2014 at 00:14

This review is probably your best (in my opinion) in terms of its accuracy. You do a good job at appearing unbiased and you discuss both pros and cons well. Nicely done.

Thanks. I wrote the thing basically one sentence at a time over the course of a month, so I had no idea what would happen, but I'm glad you approve.
AberrantBeing - 10.02.2014 at 18:32  
Wow, this is the first featured review I have read in a really long time that I actually agreed with!
Quote:
I do not exactly appreciate the breakdowns in "The Grasp Of Ruin" and "Black Malice Construct." And "Descent Into Chaos." And… "Thrive." You get the picture.

that part was funny!
ScreamingSteelUS - 10.02.2014 at 19:02  
Written by AberrantBeing on 10.02.2014 at 18:32

Wow, this is the first featured review I have read in a really long time that I actually agreed with!

This is the most enthusiastic response I have read in a really long time!

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