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Aenimus – Dreamcatcher

by Katharine Hassett at 18 February 2019, 4:51 PM

Formed in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2011, AENIMUS is technical/progressive deathcore force to be reckoned with that first got their footing in 2013 with their debut album “Transcend Reality,” recorded, mixed and mastered by producer/engineer Nick Bothelho (Deadly Remains, Hatchet, The Kennedy Veil) out of NB Recording in Santa Rosa. The 13 track belter featured a vocal performance from Eddie Harmida (ALL SHALL PERISH, SUICIDE SILENCE) and quickly gained traction in the metal scene, resulting in a handful of tours over the course of two years, alongside veterans of the deathcore game such as RINGS OF SATURN, I DECLARE WAR, and ARSONISTS GET ALL THE GIRLS. With a few changes in the lineup and a dedicated fan base behind the, the five piece began working on a follow up album.

Dreamcatcher” is an 11 song concept album drawing influence from books and films such as The Shining, The Dead Zone, IT and Hannibal. The album features an impressive lineup of guest appearances from Mike Semesky (THE HAARP MACHINE), Jamie Hanks (I DECLARE WAR), Brian James (FALLUJAH), Sims Cashion, Leonardo Guzman, and was mixed and mastered by Jamie King (BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME, THE CONTORTIONIST).

Dreamcatcher” opens with the quintet ripping a page from VEIL OF MAYA’s play book with stuttering machine gun like chugging and melodic chord work. “Before the Eons” slaps quite hard and throws in plenty of diversity for an opener with some purely atmospheric flair towards the end. “Eternal” is a beatdown of purely evil sounding dissonance, the chorus screaming “I am eternal, I am the destroyer” – sticking to the theme of the album. This particular track also shows off the beautiful clean vocals the prog metallers are capable of.

My Becoming” is a violent slap in the face all fans of the deathcore will surely enjoy, with more breakdowns than you shake a stick at, without compromising any melody. “The Dark Triad” is a dreamlike landscape with truly beautiful Egyptian-esque scales that are reminiscent of some of the work of BORN OF OSIRIS and the track bursts into frantic speeds that are expected from any respected tech death band. “The Overlook” is a groovy, headbangable track that shows of your standard “djent” sounding riffage, all while keeping in line with the melodic nature the entire album fleshes out. “Second Sight” opens with ambient calmness only to smash it to pieces with more technicality and ferocious screaming. The album ends with the title track, an instrumental with clean guitars with phantasmagorical scales, soon with a back drop of the standard hard hitting distorted chugging and fading out with more ethereal atmosphere.

Mathy break downs, breakneck speeds and melancholic and reflective interludes keep in line with the strive for diversity AENIMUS has. While the album is wonderfully recorded and very solid on it’s own for newcomers to the genre, it unfortunately suffers in the originality department and will likely come off as a mere homage of an album to fans of the proggy tech death sound.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Before the Eons
2. Eternal
3. The Ritual
4. My Becoming
5. The Dark Triad
6. Between Iron and Silver
7. The Overlook
8. Caretaker
9. Second Sight
10. Day Zero
11. Dream Catcher

Alex Green – Vocals
Sean Swafford – Guitar, Backing vocals
Seth Stone – Bass, Backing vocals
Cody Pulliam – Drums
Jordan Rush – Guitar
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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