I, Voidhanger has been a fountain of forward, backward, and sideways thinking extreme metal since its inception. Over the years bands that have idiosyncratic and original ideas about black, death, and folk metal have flocked to the label as a place to disseminate their hellish imaginings. One such act is the darkly chaotic technical death metal band, Acausal Intrusion. Emerging on the scene last year with their debut LP, Nulitas, these prolific (just check their Metal Archives page!) musicians haven’t taken time to inhale fully before fifty-five minutes of their frenetic tech-death has emerged in the form of their new album, Seeping Evocation.
Sophomore albums have a history of being make-or-break affairs, and while that isn’t always the case, one can easily see why a second outing is often indicative of how much creative juice is in the tank. While it’s uncertain how many eyes and ears are on Acausal Intrusion as a whole, the effort put into the new record should be noticeable. Nulitas lived and died by the atmosphere and the same can be said of Seeping Evocation but the emphasis on pacing seems to be stronger on the latter. What hasn’t changed is their penchant for creating dense, technical, and catastrophic death metal with an esoteric edge.
One of the greatest strengths of Seeping Evocation is its claustrophobic and suffocating atmosphere. The progression toward chaos that begins with the first two songs is fully realized with “Mnemonic Confabulation”, a near nine-minute track that deals out angular, dissonant riffs and blasting drums that feature the ping-iest of snares. Acausal Intrusion absolutely excel at giving the listener a constant struggle to keep their head above water while navigating their murky depths. “Transformational Death Phenomenon” is a death metal riptide that will pull you under in seconds and the following acoustic instrumental piece, “Nythra Kthunae Atazoth” is a brief but foreboding repose that keeps the tension in place until the hammers start falling on the following track. Again, the aura of this record is palpable.
One thing that simply must be touched on is the production choices on Seeping Evocation. As stated above, the atmosphere of this record is insatiable and one might even call it the point of the entire record. Aiding this goal is the chaotic, rumbling production that makes each instrument, voice, and utterance seem in constant competition with each other. This struggle enhances the already present violence within the album making each track sound like an all-out war. That being said, this approach may not be for everyone. This album nears an hour and is hardly accessible from any angle. Add this tumultuous production to the equation, and there is hardly a window for entry. For those who enjoy difficult music that requires a little more effort to uncover and offers few handholds, Acausal Intrusion have created a fabulous new puzzle to piece together. Regardless, this is an exhausting album, and while that’s the point, it would seem a little trimming here and there could have made this a little easier to digest.
Bottom Line: Acausal Intrusion haven’t been around long at all but their brand of dissonant and chaotic technical death metal is already taking on a life of its own. Seeping Evocation is a dynamically paced, brutal, and oftentimes difficult album to get through. Its dense atmosphere, runtime, and rumbling production maybe a turnoff to some, but is exactly where this band are aiming and they’ve hit the target. Trimming a little fat here and there would ostensibly make it more digestible and does hold it back from perfection. Somehow, I don’t think the band care about that. This is a perfect malformation of arcane technical death metal that is a great step forward for the band and a boon to fans of inaccessible music.
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This Is so bad. Sounds like a bunch of kids just starting out on the instruments with shitty growls over it
Nice review Jake. When I hear inaccessible music, I think Vessel Of Iniquity. Compared to that, this is downright catchy. I like it much more than I thought I would. It has a Dillinger Escape Plan tech death feel. These guys are amazing musicians.