Band : Singularity
Album/EP : Place of Chains
Genre: Technical Black Metal
Label : The Artisan Era
Location : Phoenix, Arizona
FFO : Fleshgod Apocalypse, Vale of Pnath, Dimmu Borgir
The production on “Place of Chains” definitely exceeds my expectations. I saw the Tech Death/Black Metal label and kind of wrote it off. I skimmed through the record when I received it, and I won’t lie, it wasn’t bad. But once you sit down and listen to the record, you will realize one thing, it’s actually VERY well done. The style is something that fits in well with The Artisan Era. They have the symphonic/orchestral arrangements in the background, which help add a bit of a classic feel. I feel that is the bands shining element. They can blend their death metal sound with a classical influence. There are a few bands in mind, but this record reminded me instantly of Fleshgod Apocalypse. The mix is actually very solid as well. At first listen, the guitars and drums sound like they are mixed up a notch. But after a second or third listen, you quickly realize that its mixed perfectly. Every instrument, all the vocals, and even the backtracks are mixed at certain levels for a reason.
The songs don’t have a traditional structure. In fact there is no structure at all, but that’s synonymous with Tech Death. However, despite not having a structure, the tracks flow so well. Before you know it, the record is over. Each track on this record blends so well, it envelops the listener in to a beautiful crafted Technical Black Metal masterpiece. I couldn’t find a narrative or anything that resembles a theme in the info I was given, so I can’t make a comment on that. But if there is a theme, I bet it’s epic.
When I think of a theme, I imagine something with a dungeon. Almost like a medieval era story of a guy who is captured and trapped in a dungeon. With each day passing, the character slowly realizes that they will not make it out alive.
Like I said, I’m probably very wrong. But hey, that sounds like a cool idea doesn’t it?
Now that I actually have listened to his record, I will definitely give it a spin more. The whole classical arrangement behind the death metal aspect is something that I have grown to appreciate more. What these guys do well, or at least what I like the most, is the balance of classical orchestration and catchy riffage. Each track has a combination of these two, in some sort of way. Neither overpowers the other. I personally think that’s fantastic. I really can’t find a least favorite part. Maybe I do wish that the backtracks were mixed down just a small notch. But nothing too major.
Compared to their last release “Void Walker”, not too much has changed. The only thing that has changed was the mix. It’s definitely gotten better on this new release. The orchestration has definitely calmed down as well.
Overall, I actually enjoyed the shit out of this release. It’s got the tech death vibe around it. But it’s also got a more mature orchestral arrangement behind it, which is something that not a lot of bands do now. Some do it, yes. But only a few bands. Its a beautiful balance of death metal brutality, and classical maturity that you can only find at The Artisan Era.
Star Rating: 9.5/10
Strongest Song: Victory or Death