For different reasons, it’s been a while since I enjoyed heavy music…but thank god, a group called Exist has recently shown me the way back home with their EP “In Mirrors“, it’s opener track “Writhe” bursting with a jazzy extreme metal attack in Cynic fashion; then we fall, deep deep into a Holdsworthian solo section, the basslines floating beneath the leads with a fretless sound, flowing like the muscles of the flexible creature that is this band. I’m so glad I tweaked the EQ on my system or I would have missed out on those sweet frequencies..
Track 2 “The Pine” starts differently with a more subtle, traditional prog, offering a sublime performance of clean vocals. But just as the aesthetics of Extreme Metal seem all forgotten, Exist bring them back with a dissonant chord and a polyrhythm that confuses the hell outta you(one of those moments progheads go crazy for). From there on the two styles seem to battle it over the soundscape as if in slow-motion, creating a hypnotic pulse from which emanates a sinister doom metal vibe…listen for yourself..
The plodding is left behind with track 3 “So We Are“, throwing us into a storm of riffs filled with groove and epic melodies with a melancholic edge. Harsh and cleans vocals share the same stage here, only to give it up for a second long solo section on the final track “Equilibrium“”, while in the background you can hear the chords of “The Pine” loom like a saddening memory..You’ve got to appreciate the way these guys combine the different elements at their disposal, making some definite changes along the tracklist but keeping those within a meaninful organic flow, so that nothing feels out of place.
This album has tons of instrumental sections, but I think that for a great listening experience, it can be listened to without concious thought, in the background, as atmosphere; An atmosphere that you will find to be perfect and pure, isolating you from the nonsense of the everyday and opening your awareness up like the sight of a clear night’s sky. I love it when you think you are going to be listening to this or that, then find yourself in an upexpected experience that transcends your dull conceptions and definitions..and without definitions, you are left, yes – speechless!
Every note that closes “In Mirrors” convinces me this is the case with this EP. Forget subgenres, this is just a beautiful piece of music!