Degree Absolute Degree Absolute

Musically speaking, the album is simply fantastic. Starting with two technically challenging and extremely heavy songs, the band navigate cold yet cutting guitar rhythms and bass lines through complex passages laced with slightly fusion-friendly breaks. Thanks to producer Neil Kernon, the bass is loud and crushing throughout and I love that. "Exist” evokes early Zero Hour, particularly in the way vocalist Aaron Bell sings passionately and in an almost a fragile tone over such a sharp and raucous musical landscape. Contrary to the cold music, his voice exudes sheer emotion, especially during the slower acoustic riffs, akin to the stuff heard on the first Gordian Knot album. "Laughing Alone” starts with thick guitars following Meshuggah-style odd time patterns. The vocals are doubled here and shift between a clean gentle voice and slightly more throaty style. Being extremely melodic, the guitar solo at the end again beautifully contrasts the general flow of the track. Bell is a phenomenal guitar player — he has plenty of chops but never overuses them. The songwriting is intended to create atmosphere, rarely heard on such technical prog metal releases, and succeeds. Well done. (Sensory)