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Dark Waters End - Submersion

Dark Waters End
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 22 September 2017, 7:51 AM

Progressive Death Metal quintet DARK WATERS END formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA in 2014. Following the addition of guitarist Ian Wright to the band, they release their debut EP “Rat King” in 2014. Since then, they have been busy writing and recording for the debut full-length album “Submersion,” which they present here. The album contains eleven tracks. They describe their sound as being as much Technical as they are Progressive and with a wide range of influences to create an expansive sound. Let’s get to some of the highlights on the album.

They begin with the longest song on the album…the seven-minute “Immortal Consciousness.” It definitely registers high in the category of Technical Death Metal, though not with some of the overly crazy time signatures that can come with that genre. It’s looser and easier to enjoy in that regard. Some of the Progressive elements come into play with the varied rhythms they present, which are super-tight. “Empty Skies” is shorter in length but with no less intensity. Extract the drums from the track one of the times you listen to the song to listen to a timekeeper that is very impressive. The guitar riffs are so dense and varied that it seems like they are being performed at the hands of a Cyborg rather than a human. “Mass Grave” is a short two-minute track with dissonant guitars and ultra-deep Death vocals. It moves at a mid-tempo pace and it hypnotic to the point where you have to stop and count the beats to maintain consciousness.

Just when you think things could not get tenacious, “Congenital Vice” rolls around and gives you a sense of awe. In considering how this type of organized and structured brutality could be composed and performed, it gives you pause to wonder and appreciate the talents of these musicians. In the theme of more pleasant surprises, the three-minute “Unquenchable” has an almost jovial little melody, with clean vocals. Though dark in scope, it is a pretty listen at the same time, similar to some of the tracks you would hear on an OPETH album. “Rat King” was the name of their original EP and now a track on the new album. For over six minutes, it pounds you with intensity and robotic riffing that moves you on a physical level rather than an emotional one. “Velocirapture” is absolutely bludgeoning in its delivery. You would need a calculator to compute the number and nature of meter changes throughout its dominating sound.

“Up the Dose” closes the album, with guitar riffs that seem to climb an endless ladder of steps and combinations. With vehemence and never-ending intensity, it has made you its victim. The strength of the album for me lies in the technical nature of the songwriting, and the musicianship of the artists who create and perform it. Sometimes I have heard bands in this genre take the technicality to a place that is so high, the music gets left behind, but that is not the case here. The band have displayed a skilled balance between these two things on “Submersion.” Like a sweetener, a little can go a long way however, so this unabashed violence is not for the feint.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Immortal Consciousness
2. Empty Skies
3. Mass Grave
4. Congenital Vice
5. Unquenchable
6. The Great Dirge
7. Rat King
8. Hell can’t be worse
9. Velocirapture
10. Bucket of Flesh
11. Up the Dose
John William – Vocals
Elijah Masiko – Guitar
Ian Wright – Guitar
Chris Williams – Bass
Ian McGarry – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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