(In this post TheMadIsraeli provides a detailed review of the new album by Baltimore-based Exist, which was released on August 28th by Prosthetic Records.)
You ever hear a band that has remarkably talented musicians, some definite top-tier songwriting chops, and unique sound elements to distinguish them, but you felt like they themselves were their own worst enemy in achieving the pinnacle of what they could do?
That was Exist for me.
Exist’s last full-length So True, So Bound was a good album, but I found this band extremely difficult to talk about or even quantify and I found that record, while good, to be inconsistent. This mainly came down to Exist getting stuck in a rut, in too much of a focus on atmospherics and passive sorts of grooves. These guys really want to be Cynic 3.0 in the worst way, and that’s not meant to be a knock in any way shape or form. Except unlike Cynic, they don’t forget their death metal roots, which leads to a progressive experience that kind of mixes the best aspects of newer Cynic combined with the primal emotion and intensity of albums like Focus, Death’s latter-era work, or even Atheist’s commitment to discernable nonsense.