Starting off softly, with ambient sounds and female vocals, this album is a different beast to the band’s last album A Never Ending Cycle of Atonement. Sure, the band haven’t completely changed, but they’ve definitely progressed a significant amount.
So if you take their previous release, rein-in the technicality a bit and add some extra elements of Fallujah and The Faceless, you’ll have a good idea of where Inanimate Existence are in 2016. And from what I hear, it’s a very nice place to be.
Technical/progressive death metal is still the band’s preferred mode of assault, but they have tightened things up and cut back the song times a bit since their last full-length. Additionally, Calling from a Dream has more of a modern, dreamy, atmospheric metal feel to it, not a million miles away from the likes of Fallujah in places.
Keyboards and other orchestration are common on this release, and the female vocals that were merely toyed with on their second album have become almost a full-time addition to the band’s repertoire; here we get a decent amount of luscious female vocals on pretty much every song. These are done very well, added in a natural way that doesn’t completely remove from the savagery of the band, and performed exceptionally well.
The band also have new main singer, (who also happens to front the amazing The Kennedy Veil). His voice is the main vocal feast on Calling from a Dream, and juxtaposes perfectly with the clean female vocals.
With less speed and more mid-paced delivery, the band have created a collection of songs that are very well-written and take a lot of notice of pacing, dynamics and atmosphere. For such an emotive release, it’s pleasing that the songs can still batter and bruise when needed, and even though this is incredibly textured and rich material, they can still just simplify and kick out a massive heavy riff when they want too.
The band have not lost their savage brutality nor their technicality, but they have been stripped back, with the latter not quite as dizzing as it was in the past. They still know a thing or two about brutality though. However, in place of these reduced elements, they’ve now incorporated so many more atmospheric parts into their thoroughly modern sound that this album is 35 minutes of joyous escapism.
Calling from a Dream is an exciting addition to the world of modern death metal, one that’s got a lot of longevity in it, and I can’t help but feel that it’s going to become a firm favourite of mine.
Very highly recommended.