The Ever Living combine alternative, electronic/industrial, and post-metal together into 43 minutes of material on Artificial Devices, resulting in a textured, immersive collection of tracks.
To start with I’ll note that the promo blurb mentions bands such as Deftones, Nine Inch Nails, Cult of Luna, and Amenra, and this is a good starting point for approaching Artificial Devices. The music is atmospheric, dark, and engaging. The band build emotive tapestries that are complete and absorbing very convincingly. I’ll also steal a quote from the promo, as I believe it sums up the album very well – “It is epic, bleak and beautiful all rolled into one, with fathoms of depth. It has an unnerving sense of foreboding with glimmers of hope…”. So there.
The songs are richly atmospheric and draw you into their world with ease. The melodies and electronics are dark and lusciously delivered, like velvet draped across something malevolent. There’s a brooding heart to this music that’s cloaked in darkness and mystery, yet presents with both sophisticated nuance and instant-gratification. Somehow Artificial Devices has both style and substance.
The music is layered and intelligently-crafted, but with an understanding of how to use emotion that’s impressive. There’s a cinematic sci-fi feel that is done so well that I can’t get enough of it. The guitars are heavy and have significant weight behind them. This quality comes not just from the distortion, but also from their emotive density. The vocals are harsh and snarling, and complement the sprawling musical soundscapes well.
Artificial Devices is the sort of album that makes a good impression early on, but really gets its claws into you over time. The more you listen to the album and get to know its dark depths, the more it rewards.
Very highly recommended.