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A Sense Of Gravity - Atrament Award winner

A Sense Of Gravity
Atrament
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 15 May 2017, 12:12 PM

Chalk up another win for Prog Metal, because A SENSE OF GRAVITY’S second full length “Atrament” has blown me away.  The music contain within these 12 tracks is arresting and spastic but it has a solid sound of straight up ripping metal with a grand sense of purpose.  It is always hard to peg down the sound of a true Prog band, and that is the way it should be but the closest I can come for those looking for some direction would be BORN OF OSIRIS, although A SENSE OF GRAVITY is definitely more proggy and flashy. Throw in some BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME and you have maybe what this band sounds like.  With many Prog bands, such as EVERGREY, OPETH, DREAM THEATER, and others leaning more towards combining more than just metal with their sounds, such as ballads,  A SENSE OF GRAVITY keeps it really heavy throughout the album, even when they are venturing off the beaten path.

The opening track seems to be meant to be an intro to the chaos that is about to follow but it really is a song within itself.  The bombastic vocal presence from the excellent C.J. Jenkins (this guy is a beast) mixes with some epic keyboards, throwing the song into opera territory that paints a larger than life scene.  The song calms for a second with Jenkins showing right off the bat he can definitely sing extremely well.  The playful and mysterious keyboards add to the moment that builds up into a crescendo that explodes into the second track, “Reclusive Peace.” This track immediately features everyone’s fingers flying across the fret board.  Random leads, melodies, harmonies come together over the thunderous double bass of Peter Breene. I can hear elements of the opening track in here, something that I’m sure was done on purpose.  Jenkin’s vocals are no longer clean, turning into a death/hardcore type growl that barks out the lyrics as furious at the rest of the band is playing.  No one in the band ever slows down for a second, creating a tornado of chaotic music that still comes together.  In this song, it all leads up to a clean sang chorus and then some more stanza’s that, this time, are sang in a lower clean voice.  Jenkin’s vocal style is amazing; he has a large variety of things he can do with this voice and he will often use them all within a span of just a few second.  Around the 3:00 minute mark, the band suddenly turns jazzy, with cymbals splashing, thumping bass, and a wonderful solo.  Just as quickly as they entered this new mode, they come out of it, back into the death and destruction before going back to the catchy chorus one more time

I’m 500 words into this review and I’ve just talked about the first two songs; this is the kind of depth that you can expect from the rest of the tracks.  Each song is kind of like a mini album unto itself; the constant twist and turns will leave you guessing but never to the point of being bored.  Through all the insanity, the band somehow manages to be interesting and catchy—they wonder off the beaten path but it isn’t self-indulgent as they pull you with them for the wild ride. “Revenant,” begins as a slow dirge, heavy bass and down tuned riffs with a scream that lasts a thousand years.  Jenkin’s vocals here are frightening and creepy.  The bass and drumming is something you might hear off a MESHUGGAH album—the lead guitar wails the entire time, belting out some great notes that are in contrast to the sound around them but still make sense.  The song is rather short but it fits a lot in.

Shadowed Lines,” begins with ambient textures and actorly vocals.  It gets faster and heavy with clean vocals over the music, showcasing that you don’t have to always scream and growl to bring the metal.  The vocals get very thematic as the song builds, the drums increasingly building up as clean keys come in playfully like something SYMPHONY X might do. I was provided youtube links for the review so it’s really hard to tell how good the production is but everything is clear; there is never a struggle to follow all the different things presented in each song. Fans of Progressive Metal, especially on the heavier, technical side with Death influences, really really need to check this album out right now.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Drowning In The Ink
2. Reclusive Peace
3. Echo Chasers
4. The Divide
5. Artificially Ever After
6. Revenant
7. Guise of Complacency
8. Shadowed Lines
9. Promised None
10. The Projectionist
11. I, Recreant
12. Manic Void
Lineup:
Peter Breene – Drums
Brendon Williams – Guitars, keyboards
Brandon Morris – Keyboards, guitars
C.J Jenkins – Vocals
Chance Unterseher – Bass
Morgan Wick – Guitars
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 25 February 2021
 

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