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Essence of Datum – Spellcrying Machine Award winner

Essence of Datum
Spellcrying Machine
by Sergio Andrés at 17 September 2019, 10:29 PM

This album has excellent music, plain and simple.  The instrumental format is back with a vengeance. Grab your old STEVE VAI and TONY MACALPINE records ASAP. There are DEATH, QUEENSRYCHE (circa 1986), WATCHTOWER and some ANNIHILATOR nuances, yet with savory notes of melodic grandiosity.

Finally, we have a tidy top-notch production. The dynamic range compression serves correctly for this type of music. Plus, the production and mixing process spots every instrument (and every detail of it) on the right measure. Do you know that there is not too much bass? But, it does not matter, because the performance of this duo covers all the sonic bases, very much like ANIMALS AS LEADERS handles that same situation, differing stylistically of course.

By the way, I love how the cymbals were played and mixed; I can hear all the nuances on the backbeats, like a jazz band. Every hit is different, sounds actually like musicians enjoying their job. The intro motif of “Synthetic Soul Extractor” reminded a little bit of some old QUEENSRYCHE songs as “Before the Storm” or “The Whisper” evolving to some “CYNIC” and “WATCHTOWER” influenced-passages. Towards the 4:30 mark, a chugging E minor (flat maybe) riff serves as a resolution to another section. That specific transition sounds very influenced by a similar one in the aforementioned track “Before the Storm” (at the 4:30 mark) by QUEENSRYCHE, which indeed is a musical bridge to “Child of Fire.” Great prog bands influencing great prog bands, wicked.

Another sublime moment comes with the beauty and desolation of “Vitality” which is a classical acoustic piece (some careful modulation to interrupt your brain, in the right way). Think of it as Steve Howe playing in FLAIRCK. The final tune “Cavum Atrum” has a massive “dissonant” theme as musical motif from the beginning till the 3:52 mark, then it changes to a tremolo picking frantic melody. The whole song has a smart dosage of dynamics (especially the drum patterns), tempo changes, and some rim hits on the drums for accent-sake. It is so refreshing to listening a couple of guys delivering these epic suites in a classy way, forget about the pyrtotecnics and the corny imagery.
A stunning master piece from these guys, hope to catch them live sometime.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Synthetic Soul Extractor
2. Shikari Algorithm
3. Pendulum
4. Spellcryer
5. Binar
6. Cavum Atrum
Dmetri Ramanouski - Guitars
Pavel Vilchytski - Drums and all percussions
Record Label: Season Of Mist


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Edited 02 June 2020

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