2. Political Sickness in D# Hijaz Kar
3. Grieving Silence
4. Dogma of Cain
5. Tractatus Cerebri act I, To Be
6. Tractatus Cerebri act II, Driven Into
7. Tractatus Cerebri act III, A Twisted State of Mind
8. The Pendulum
9. Human Serpent
10. In Fanthomless Depths
Fans of classic progressive death metal! If you're looking for a relatively new band that doesn't sound too modern and retains the classic sound and feel of old Atheist, Cynic, Death and Pestilence records, then you should definitely check out Echidna! Because this band form Greece has it all, and it brings you all the goodies in a beautiful package entitled "Manifests Of Human Existence".
So what makes this record sound like the good old prog death classics that have inspired a whole generation of young thriving musicians all over the world? Well, first of all it's the overall feel of music that makes you remind of Piece of Time or Human while listening to Echidna's second full length album. It's rather complex but not all over you, sometimes melodic yet having its brutal bits and pieces. None of the instruments is really standing out, everything is at its place and the music doesn't sound disjointed. However, one instrument that you'll clearly hear on this record is the bass. It is the classic fretless jazz bass you've heard on Death's Individual Thought Patterns and Cynic's Focus, and here it has the same role of juicing up the intense death metal guitar riffs. Speaking of guitars, their parts are quite varied, ranging from intricate passages to straight death metal riffs, with occasional solos but without fanatic shredding and overall guitar wankery (something that a lot of modern tech death bands tend to over-use). The drums are in their place too, supporting the complex structures with rhythms that vary from blastbeats to jazzy swings. The vocals reminded me of Alchemist at first, but they just sound similar sometimes.
"Manifests Of Human Existence" has everything from brutal riffs to ethnic passages, and it's a record that will require a couple of listening sessions to fully wrap your mind around it. It will appeal to fans of classic prog death metal, but it doesn't mean that Echidna are simply copying what the Florida scene was doing 20 years ago. Their music sounds fresh and quite diverse, while retaining the technical vibe during the entire record. The only complaint is the rather average mix quality, which makes this album sound like it was recorded in the 90's. The mix could use clearer and crisper sound, but it's a matter of personal preference after all. This album is definitely worth checking out!
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