Holotropic – Permeate (Review)

HolotropicHolotropic are from Slovakia and play Progressive Technical Extreme Metal. This is their début album.

I wasn’t sure what this was going to sound like and was afraid it was going to be some wishy-washy, formless nonsense. I’m not sure why. This was all dispelled shortly into the first song; what I expected to be some throwaway intro track turns out to be masterful Extreme Metal that wouldn’t be out of place on an album by Between the Buried and Me or The Faceless.

More fool me.

No, cynical me has taken a firm beating and I’m very glad too. Permeate is a very impressive album.

Holotropic mix brutality, progressive sections, melodic parts, piano interludes, Jazz, heavy riffs and chaotic rhythms together into a cohesive whole that they’ve then weaved into their comprehensive Extreme Metal tapestry. This is either a Progressive Metal band that have taken Death Metal as their own, or a Death Metal band who have learned the value of expansive variety. Which it is doesn’t really matter.

Death Metal is an apt genre, but the nature of the riffs, the modern cadence, the exploratory nature of the music…it’s simply more than most Death Metal bands get up to. Again the comparisons to the aforementioned Between the Buried and Me and The Faceless come to mind, as this is Extreme Metal that has a modern Progressive slant.

The band can play very well and there’s a boat-load of technicality on display here too. As Technical Death Metal goes it can give most a run for their money.

For all the variety and interesting ideas of the music, the vocals are mainly pitch-black growls. It works well though as it provides a central anchor for the band’s extremity and musical meanderings. They sound great too. Occasional cleans appear sparingly and are professionally done.

Permeate is a varied and interesting début from an extremely promising band. I insist you take note of Holotropic and get your hands on this. They have a bright future ahead of them.

Highly recommended.