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Ad Nauseam - Imperative Imperceptible Impulse

Ad Nauseam
Imperative Imperceptible Impulse
by Chris Hawkins at 01 February 2021, 6:44 PM

From their early days a decade ago, the Italian quartet known as AD NAUSEAM has had a singular vision in their approach to Death Metal.  That collective mandate allowed the band to evolve into quite the unique entity within the genre.  Seriously, one would be very hard pressed to offer an example of another band who sounds remotely close to these guys.  "Imperative Imperceptible Impulse" turns out to be the unifying mantra providing cohesion amongst the many disparate twists and turns that surface as a result of such a varied and diverse background.

As "Sub Specie Aeternitatis" launched the album, I was first mistakenly under the impression that this was yet another attempt to recreate the GORGUTS formula by way of Technical Death Metal.  I could not have been more wrong.  There is so very much to unravel here that the first point of focus should be the instrumentation.  There is a rich organic feel to not only the duo of guitars but also with the rhythm section.  The rich harmonic overtones that emanate from such a natural approach gently decorate the often jagged, disjointed pairings of riffs.  The riffs themselves can be be viewed in a larger, macro perspective for it is through the overall communion of these different parts that the music is created.  Yes, the music is the sum of its parts and the master plan that is revealed only becomes more enriching as the song progresses.  The latter half in particular throws the most unexpected of curve balls in the form of a Black Metal-tinged section that transitions into a dramatic pummeling Doom section.  the starkest of contrasts is presented to the beginning by way of the ending's faint, hushed whisper.

After one solitary track, AD NAUSEAM prove that they are open and willing to mold whatever style they please to reach the desired effect.  This celebration of free expression and unlimited, indeed unbridled creativity continues throughout the course of this album.  "Inexorably Ousted Sente" follows and expands on that wide breadth of palette with more riffs that sound like they were conceived after listening to such a mismatched playlist as CYNIC followed by NEUROSIS and ending with a revelatory finale of THE MOODY BLUES.  Such feats of cutting and pasting moments one would never expect to coincide lead me to be intensely curious about the band's listening habits.  As someone who listens to Metal nonstop every day with a few meanderings into Classical, Experimental and even Avant Garde territory at times, this album proves to be nothing less than fascinating.  After all, the challenge it presents provides the most just of rewards via the overall experience of it.

The prospect of recording such an unclassifiable, enigmatic entity as AD NAUSEAM must be the most daunting of tasks to any prospective producer.  Credit must be given here for the end result is an inherent musicality apparent even in the most dissonant of sections.  Again, the instrumentation is simply top notch here.  The guitar tone is brutal when needed yet in a manner where each note comprising the most dense of chords is clearly audible.  While the guitars paint a landscape of frenetic aggression mixed with expressive freedom, the bass is in tight lockstep with the drums offering unique flourishes both rhythmically and melodically.

The phrase "nothing ventured, nothing gained" is one that has definitely been overused but really does apply here.  With the shortest of the six tracks being eight minutes and forty-one seconds, the challenge contained within however extends beyond length.  As a person with a love for early twentieth century composers such as Shostakovich and Bartok and their unrestrained expressionism that has become so iconic, I cannot help but make the parallel to such visionaries.  AD NAUSEAM approach the album as a whole with a grand blueprint much like Tolkien's map of Middle Earth.  Like that storied mythical landscape of wonder, the fantasy built on "Imperative Imperceptible Impulse" excels from its many peaks and valleys constructed from a signature formula setting this band on a far more epic level than many of the "heavyweights" in Extreme Metal that populate the tops of critics' lists of technically proficient and even creatively original bands.

Songwriting:  8
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  8
Production:  8

4 Star Rating

1.  Sub Specie Aeternitatis
2.  Inexorably Ousted Sente
3.  Coincidenta Oppositorum
4.  Imperative Imperceptible Impulse
5.  Horror Vacui
6.  Human Interface to No God

Matteo B. - Bass
Andrea S. - Drums
Matteo G. - Guitars
Andrea P. - Guitars, Vocals, Violins
Record Label: Avantgarde Music


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