Contact with the Entity is the debut EP by the Italian progressive death metal band Coexistence, and it’s an enormously impressive first foot forward, displaying the kind of song-writing assurance, creative exuberance, and striking performance skill that one would expect from a band much further into their career. We’re very happy to be the bearer of a full stream of the music today, in advance of its release on May 21st.
The EP consists of four tracks, including a brief but disturbing interlude after the head-spinning rush of the first two songs. And those first two tracks, as well as the last one, really are the kind of kaleidoscopic experiences that open eyes wide. All the performers are technically adept; the music is atmospherically rich and wonderfully dynamic; it’s compulsively physical; and it’s loaded with wide-ranging progressive flourishes that include ventures into jazz-fusion-like mind-bending.
The opening track “Origin” builds from a celestial opening and then unfolds into an amalgam of entrancing guitar performances — swirling and simmering, spiraling and darting — anchored by compulsive rhythmic power. And then the music surges in a savage rush as the bestial vocal tirades come in, veering from tyrannical roars to explosive, blood-lusting shrieks.
As “Origin” moves forward, it continues to display vibrant, head-spinning, range-spanning guitar work; warm, mercurial bass digressions; soft and hard parts, smooth and seductive but also sharp-edged and jackhammering. The other two main songs on the EP — “Ultimatum” and “Contact with the Entity II” — are similarly ever-changing and eye-popping in their extravagant twists and turns.
The strands of extreme metal and progressive rock (among other genres) that Coexistence have interwoven here are so diverse that trying to comprehensively name bands or solo artists whose music might come to mind would be very difficult. Suffice it to say that Coexistence have caused all these diverse antecedents to… coexist… within their creations, and comfortably so. The changes aren’t jarring, simply wondrous.
Fortunately, the music has been produced in a way that makes all of the top-shelf instrumental contributions vivid and clearly discernible, yet the overarching power of the music isn’t at all diminished. Credit, therefore, must be given not only to the band but also to Leonardo Bellavista, who recorded the EP at Void Studios, and to the masterful Stefano Morabito from 16th Cellar Studio in Rome, who reamped, mixed, and mastered these tracks. The cover art was created by Roberto Toderico.