Last week we put up a brief, rushed post about the one-day-only streaming of The Binary Code‘s December 15 full-length release on MetalSucks.net — brief and rushed because we wanted to give our readers the chance to listen to Suspension of Disbelief before the stream evaporated into the ether. But now it’s time to explain why we thought that alert was worth doing. And tomorrow, in Part 2, we’ll also share with you our e-mail interview with The Binary Code‘s guitarist/songwriter Jesper Zuretti. Trust me, it’s worth coming back here to read that.
First, the explanation of why we care about this band. In three words: shitloads of talent. At all the levels that count. Prodigious technical instrumentation; complex, beautifully structured song-writing; the ability to dive deeply into the technical/progressive side of death metal while at the same time incorporating compulsive grooves and elements of jazz; an abundantly evident creative intelligence that promises future growth. All that and more make Suspension of Disbelief a very impressive full-length debut and The Binary Code a band worth watching closely.
As a reader, I usually lose patience with album reviewers who feel compelled to offer observations about every last track on an album. But there’s so much going on in Suspension of Disbelief that I don’t know how else to fucking do it. So, here goes:
The album begins with a powerful, genre-defying one-two punch. “Suspension of Disbelief (Part I)” is a furious, pummeling, riffage-and-blast-beat-filled onslaught that showcases the band’s technical talent. And then without warning, the music shifts gears into “Suspension of Disbelief (Part II)” — a prog-metal influenced, largely instrumental track that begins and ends with down-tempo atmospheric soloing with high-intensity riffage packed in between. “Mechanical Seas” is tech-death with a groove, but punctuated with melodic synth interludes. “Ghost Planet” is more blast-furnace death metal, featuring a mix of deep gutterals, high-pitched shrieking, and chants; screaming guitar interludes; and some awesome syncopated interplay on the low end between bass and skins. And then there’s a “what the hell?” moment: The closest label I can affix to “Void I” is metal-infused progressive jazz.
Following a brief musical interlude, the band then launches into “The Story,” another genre-bending, technically complex piece with multiple tempo changes, jazzy interludes, and even more vocal variation (including flashes of clean singing). Following another brief instrumental interlude, the band explores the “Human Condition” — more unexpected tempo changes, brutal vocals, crashing riffs and machine-gun bass-and-drum work alternating with more episodes of progressive jazz. “Awaiting Necropolis” is another foray into tech-death territory with probably the most head-bangable rhythms on the album. And then, to finish off this mind-blowing collection we come to “Void II,” another melodic, jazz-influenced number. Continue reading »