This is the second album from Bay Area tech-metallers Aenimus, but from what I can see, they have had some real issues with personnel and there is only person left in the band who actually played on the independently released ‘Transcend Reality’ in 2013. But here they been picked up by the mighty Nuclear Blast and consequently are touring with Hypocrisy and Fleshgod Apocalypse. To say this is an album of multiple parts is somewhat understating it, as there are times when they come across as Meshuggah crossed with Black Dahlia Society, but there are others where the music is dreamy and reflective keyboards with nary a guitar in sight. This makes for quite a fractured listening experience, which is obviously by design, as when they come back at pace with venom then it really does hit very hard indeed due to the contrast.

The album itself is a concept which draws inspiration from horror novels and movies, such as ‘It’, ‘The Shining’, ‘Hannibal Lecter’, and ‘The Dead Zone’ (not the first band to be heavily influenced by Steven King). The album was recorded by the band while mixing and mastering were handled by Jamie King (BTBAM, The Contortionist). The album features guest appearances from Mike Semesky (Intervals, The Haarp Machine), Jamie Hanks (I Declare War), Brian James (Fallujah) Sims Cashion and Leonardo Guzman. It is the sheer intensity which makes this such a compelling album, yet if it was like this all the way through it probably would not have made such an impact, as it is the gentleness which brings the hammer back with such mighty force. Their debut may not have made much of an impact, and they have been through the wringer in terms of personnel, but this release is going to make many within the extreme metal scene stand up and pay attention. Deathcore and tech metal rarely combine with progressive tendencies to make something as powerful as this.

Rating: 8/10


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