Oct 012010


Does that name sound familiar? If so, it might be because we included them in a post we did about a month ago (here). They were part of our sequential treatment for the Saturday morning blahs. Back then, we had two songs available from a an album-to-be. We wrote this about them:

“The music reminds us of the almighty Fleshgod Apocalypse and the equally almighty Decapitated. It’s faster than a cheetah at dinnertime. It leaps like a hare with its ass on fire. If it don’t wake you the fuck up, then it’s time to call the morgue.”

That was then. Now we have the entire new album by Immersed, called The Ire of Creation. We have eight songs instead of two. We have similar impressions — but more so.

Imagine that you’re a stalk of wheat, in a field of wheat stretching as far as the eye can see.  Imagine that a threshing machine is harvesting the field, except it’s running at the speed of a Formula One machine, cutting a broad swath through the waves of grain as if the stalks were ephemeral, the tops flying like the scattering of sunlight on a surging stream, the machine moving as if nothing but Armageddon could stop it.

Now you have an idea of what Immersed inflicts. It’s consuming and cathartic and it leaves little room for breath.  (more after the jump , including an Immersed song. . .)

Immersed plays the kind of fast-paced technical death metal that the aforementioned Fleshgod Apocalypse and Decapitated churn out. Like those bands, Immersed hasn’t sacrificed song structure or groove or melody in order to demonstrate their technical chops. Instead, they integrate all those qualities into a cohesive whole.

The production quality on the album is absolutely top-shelf, affording great clarity in the sound of each instrument. You’ll notice immediately the prominence of Stefan Kushneriuk’s drums in the mix. They’re powerful, loud, and insanely fast. They account for much of the explosive power in the songs, and when they periodically hit the hammer strokes in sync with Gareth Allix’s energetic bass, it’s irresistibly convulsive.

As fast and tight as the rhythm section is, guitarists Mike Chambers and Stephan Meloche are their match, and more. They generate staccato riffs galore, darting and flashing like aural strobes, spraying an intricate array of rhythms and tones across the sonic landscape. For good measure, they sometimes render the melodies in tremolo chords (as on the title track and “Ruthless Transgression”) or clean guitar leads and solos (as in “Transparent Monstrosities”, “Desolate Wanderings”, or “Howling From the Grave”).

With all this technical prowess vividly on display, the vocals could either enhance or sink the enterprise. Fortunately, Mark Phillips is unusually good. His delivery fully occupies three distinct and quite different vocal styles — cavernously deep growls that open wide like a bottomless abyss yet are amazingly intelligible; black-metal style acidic rasps; and the kind of screaming that would rival victims of the Inquisition in extremity — and he bolts from one end of the range to another seamlessly. It’s also very cool when those vocals styles are double-tracked so that they blast your eardrums in harmony.

Lyrically, The Ire of Creation is loaded with references to the works of H.P. Lovecraft and includes quotations from The Hound, The Dunwich Horror, and Call of Cthulhu. In fact, the album cover is an original painting by Ottawa tattoo artist/death metal guitarist Rob Chambers of a Lovecraft character named Abdul Alhazred (or at least his corpse).

Are there any shortcomings in this album? It depends on what you’re after.

If you’re looking for changes of pace or variety in the songs, you won’t find much of that. There is simply no let-up on this album. It’s fast and riveting from beginning to end. Stylistically, the songs are also all quite similar; there are no dramatic differences between them, though each one is a kick in the ass to hear.

On the other hand, if you feel the need to flash-fry that mushy brain of yours into a hard-edged crispiness, The Ire of Creation will do quite nicely.

Immersed isn’t yet playing in the league of bands like those two we mentioned at the outset, or other tech-death innovators like Decrepit Birth, Obscura, and Origin. But for a debut album, The Ire of Creation is well ahead of the curve.

All the ingredients are here. Every one of the band members is technically excellent and they clearly have sound instincts in the song-writing department. In our most humble opinion, what they need, to elevate themselves to the next level, is to find the comfort and confidence to experiment, to branch out, to occasionally surprise their listeners with the unexpected.

In the meantime, though, we’re plenty happy with The Ire of Creation. From start to finish, it’s consistently good. Here’s an example:

Immersed: Desolate Wanderings

You can order a copy of The Ire of Creation by clicking this link.

  18 Responses to “IMMERSED”

  1. It must suck to be wheat these days.

    If you aren’t getting trampled by people making crop circles, you have to worry about being mauled by a thresher. At the least the fucking cube doesn’t fuck around and make you wait or give you any advance warning about your impending fate as cereal, pasta, bread, cow poo or used to make beer.

    Well, that last one isn’t so bad, but wheat just wants to live, swaying in the wind without a care. Sadly, wheat isn’t all too bright and is easily dismembered by giant, roaring machines. Being immobile probably doesn’t help any.

    But to Immersed. I think I need to check out more from these guys. Sounds promising.

    • Sometimes, these terrible metaphors just pop into my head and I use them without thinking very much about it. But there’s obviously something going on at a subconscious level, and this is a great example — because I’m not too bright, I sway a lot, I often feel like cow poo, and I like music that makes me feel like I’m being dismembered by giant, roaring machines.

  2. So, you’re saying you’re wheat?

    If you’re ever turned into a box of Wheaties, who do you want to be on the box?

  3. In non-wheat related news, these guys do indeed kick ass.

    I decided to check out the songs on their ReverbNation widget in their previous NCS outing before hitting the couch for a quick nap. Not sure if I’m going to be able to sleep now. But I suppose that’s a good thing. And I can understand why you mentioned Fleshgod Apocalypse; they have that same kind of groove pulsating beneath the surface. The drumming does indeed mesh well with the bass, which thankfully isn’t lost in the mix, but at the same time isn’t dominating. It’s like the glue that keeps the music together – or perhaps the pulse of the band to the drumming as the heartbeat.

    I don’t have FA’s albums (yet), but as you said, experience should give them the confidence to do what they have done and move a bit beyond what they’ve already done. There are some elements that I’m hearing that would be great to have in greater number or length, but still used sparingly enough to keep on the task (song) at hand.

    • Well said — if I had any musical background I could probably understand in greater detail how the bass and drum and rhythm guitar work together to provide that distinctive undercurrent of pulsating groove that I associate with certain bands like FA and now Immersed. But I sure do like it. Lots of bands play blazingly fast tech-death style metal without this kind of attention to song structure, and they tend to produce songs I don’t come back to, even when I like them okay on a first run-through.

  4. I do have some musical background, but it’s been a long time since I played. But I can tell you this, the drummer and bassist have to be on the same page, otherwise the music isn’t likely to do anything special and is more prone to turning into shit. They don’t need move along at the same speed or whatever, but they need to be able to work together and can sometimes function as a single unit. Of course, there’s compatibility with the guitars, keyboards and any other instruments to consider, plus vocals againsts the whole (although, sometimes they have a similar love/hate relationship with guitars more than anything else, IMO).

    True, some songs make it easier for this rhythmic/percussive harmony to happen, while others will force a band to settle for something else. But when you can get two people together that can feed off each other, it can create magic. Without hearing more from Immersed (and repeated listens at that), it’s hard to say if they have that kind of cohesion, but from what I do hear, they do work well together.

    • That makes sense. And it’s part of the fun of watching a live show — you see how people respond to the added challenge of staying in sync without the ability to have a do-over in the studio (or your basement) and sometimes you can see that process of musicians feeding off each other in a magical way, and it’s happening right before your eyes.

      • This is precisely why I love groove metal. After Pantera, I’d say Devildriver and Deftones are close seconds in this category. When you look at those three bands, aside from being legendary, their rhythm and bass sections are fucking bullet proof and are always locked in with each other. They never come across as flimsy, and provide that necessary backbone for the song. Just my two cents.

        • DevilDriver and Deftones are awesome, and excellent examples of what we’re talking about here. I’d put Lamb of God in that groove-metal category too, though I know other people would affix different genre classifications to them.

  5. These kids have some talent and if they progress like we all think and hope they can, it’s going to be a lot of fun watching them develop. This album is being added to my never-shrinking list of must haves.

    • Those damned must-have lists. I want a list of “don’t need any more because an anonymous benefactor just dropped the CDs in my lap”. I would like world peace too.

  6. You managed to very adequately describe this stuff Islander! It’s indeed pretty fuckin’ good. It’s definately brutal, but it doesn’t turn into a big mash-up of people showing off to the max. I’d like more Brutal Death if more of the bands understood there’s one thing more important than being fast and technical: writing good songs! Decrepit Birth is another example of a band that really gets that!

  7. This band is trying to do what Job For A Cowboy did on Ruination, but without any success, because there’s just something missing.

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