Inanimate Existence – The Masquerade (Review)

Inanimate Existence - The MasqueradeInanimate Existence are a US progressive death metal band and this is their sixth album.

A new Inanimate Existence album is always welcome. They’re a reliable and enjoyable act, (see here, here, here, and here), and I always look forward to hearing them. The Masquerade delivers 40 minutes of new material that more than adheres to the quality standards that the band have set for themselves so far.

Inanimate Existence’s brand of progressive/technical death metal is alive and well on The Masquerade. Each of their albums is a bit different, and this new one is on the darker and more straightforward side, while still maintaining that technical/melodic flair that they do so well. The Masquerade strikes a balance between old and new tech death, using the former to inform the latter under a modern progressive/technical death metal framework.

The underpinning musical structures are constructed from intricate riffs, complex expression, and technical precision. Fashioning songs and direction from raw chaos, the band channel their technical ferocity into music that’s greater than the sum of its parts. I always like Inanimate Existence’s ability to be very technical, yet never let that get in the way of actual songcraft; the progressive side of the band, and their innate skill, mean that they never lose sight of this. So what you will find here is that the technicality is augmented by engaging riffs and cosmic melodies. The latter have always been somewhat of a standout feature for me; Inanimate Existence’s melodies have always been striking, atmospheric, and compelling.

The Masquerade continues the long-running ability that the band have of merging melodic atmosphere, brutal heaviness, and technical detail. Inanimate Existence are equally adept at crafting emotive moods as they are crushing with sophisticated groove or dazzling with bright complexity. Frequently they do all three at the same time, to great effect.

Well, as expected, Inanimate Existence have not disappointed. The Masquerade is another sterling album from the band.

Are you looking for modern death metal that has atmosphere? Brutality? Melody? Technicality? Emotion? Then look no further than this.

Very highly recommended.

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