Inanimate Existence – Underneath a Melting Sky (Review)

Inanimate ExistenceInanimate Existence are a US progressive, technical, atmospheric death metal band and this is their fourth album.

Inanimate Existence return! I like this band a lot. 2014’s A Never-Ending Cycle of Atonement and then last year’s Calling from a Dream demonstrated a band that are not only willing to experiment and push their sound, but one that continued to develop and progress over time too.

The progression from the band’s second album to their third was notable and quite large, taking a less brutal and more atmospheric, dreamy path. On Underneath a Melting Sky Inanimate Existence seem to have taken an approach that sees them leaning more towards their earlier sound, but with lots of lessons learned and ideas taken from Calling from a Dream. The result is arguably the best of both worlds, and Underneath a Melting Sky is an extremely strong record as a result.

Faster, heavier, and more brutal than Calling from a Dream, the songs on this latest release still incorporate dreamy melodies, atmospheric keyboards, and progressive explorations though, fear not. The tracks combine heaviness and beauty in probably the most effective way yet, taking the cleaner, more atmospheric sound that they developed on their last release and adding extra extremity on top of it.

The songs are very well-written and feature a lot of very tasty, meaty material for the listener to tuck into. Rich, textured, and layered with interesting, catchy, and engaging content, this is an album to spin again and again as you get lost in its heavy riffs, ferocious attitude, progressive wanderings, and heady atmospheres.

There’s a change in the vocals too once more for this album. Gone are the female vocals that were a defining feature of Calling for a Dream, and also gone are the deep growls of their previous singer. Instead, we get a mix of both, (new), deep growls and higher screams from the core members of the band, both styles being delivered with skill and confidence.

After developing their sound into a more dreamy, atmospheric version of themselves on Calling from a Dream, I was wondering where the band would go from that, and hoping they wouldn’t simply repeat themselves. Underneath a Melting Sky is perfectly judged in this regard, as the band have reinvented themselves once more, taking the best aspects of everything they have accomplished up to this point and refining it into eight tracks of extremely enjoyable music.

Inanimate Existence have never yet let me down, and so far each release I’ve liked more than the last one. Yes, Underneath a Melting Sky is Inanimate Existence at their very best.

You have to listen to this – do it now.

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