Don’t let the death metal tag fool you, this is not your average deathly proposition. Ad Nauseam’s vision of what extreme metal should be is unorthodox and esoteric. The band play a sort of avant-garde progressive technical death metal, while also throwing in some elements of black metal, sludge, doom, jazz, ambient, and post-metal. Of course, now you have so many musical appellations that this description really says nothing at all. Essentially, Ad Nauseam play their own version of extreme metal, and they play it very well.
The music is complex and atypically constructed. It’s layered and deeply intricate. The music is very well-written, and I can imagine the composition process potentially being as complicated as the music is.
Dark dissonant atmospheres abound, causing apocalyptic events with just their mere suggestion. Instruments clash like collapsing planets, yet birth new and horrifying shapes and sounds as they do so. Melodies rot into putrid pits of putrescence, only to be reborn anew as something wonderfully corrupted. Unusual percussive choices cause cracks in reality that strange harmonies seep through, while world-ending daemonic growls scythe through the very substance of the songs like weaponised black holes. Tension is used like a destructive tyrant that holds entire species in its thrall. Dense, impenetrable walls of living nightmare are your constant companion as your try in vain to navigate the unfriendly, relentlessly-warping soundscapes of Imperative Imperceptible Impulse. It keeps its secrets close, only to be revealed to true adepts, who suffer for their given revelations
Imperative Imperceptible Impulse is not an entry-level work, instead it’s the sort of album that true connoisseurs of extreme metal will latch onto first, getting lost in its labyrinthine depths, never to be seen again. Imposing, challenging, and aggressively individual, it’s nonetheless an album that deserves to be obsessed over and studied as the work of art that it is.
If you can handle its mind-crushing darkness, then Imperative Imperceptible Impulse is an essential listening experience to live through.