Written by: PP on 23/03/2008 02:11:24

The End Records has a reputation of putting out highly original records which often give experimental a new meaning. None of their releases are ordinary, each approaching a different genre in a (probably) never before tried way. Sculptured is no exception, and their latest album \"Embodiment\" is a wonderful example on how original and refreshing progressive death metal can sound in the right hands.

Instead of shoving the soundscape full of blast beats and nonsensical growling, Sculptured integrates extreme experimentalism in the form of luscious harmonies and melodies. Vocalist Dan Anderson possesses a deep growl, but he delivers these with an almost poetic approach, using his voice as a contrasting instrument to the soft guitar melodies that lead each song forward. The occasional clean parts are sung with immense warmth, giving the songs extra character and conviction. Not that they wouldn\'t convince otherwise, as instrumentally the album is mind numbingly complicated in its experimentalism. Just when you expect the guitar to go up a scale, it goes down a scale, changes tempo, pitch or all at the same time. We know from other similar releases that great care must be taken whilst pertaining in this approach, because there is a danger that it all collapses into one great mess.

But Sculptured are balancing on the fine border between a mess and something utterly beautiful. While not sounding as heavy and orchestrated as Opeth, \"Embodiment\" sounds carefully executed and smooth, allowing the guitar textures to be vibrant and engaging from song to song. It\'s just not possible to set a song down once you begin listening to it, it hooks you straight into its strange appeal of instrumental speculation, where the guitars are angular, the drums occasionally frantic, and the overall mission blurry. This leaves only two alternative conclusions: Andersen is either a lunatic or a genius. My guess is he\'s probably a bit of both: their Myspace page is called \"Matrix metal\" for God\'s sake.


Download: Taking My Body Apart, Embodiment
For the fans of: Opeth, Novembre, Atheist, Disillusion, Cynic
Listen: Myspace

Release date 19.02.2008
The End Records

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