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ityjadiz, 65 guests

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Imminence - Turn The Light On Award winner

Imminence
Turn The Light On
by Jon Conant at 20 May 2019, 8:07 AM

There are few words that excite me as greatly as "Sweden" and "metalcore". But, typically when I think Sweden I think melodeath or even just death, and when I think metalcore I think America (or Britain maybe…which is just Old America). Now, I love Sweden. I love the people, the nature, the music culture, everything. Unless it's Eurovision. Then literally FUCK SWEDEN. Except Måns Zelmerlöw. I'm off topic.

The point is I ALSO love djent with all my heart, so when you enter a Swedish band like IMMINENCE that's bringing a particularly djenty brand of alternative metalcore, I'm a very happy man. It's already fresh and unique by virtue of the fact that it's Swedish metalcore, but to top it off IMMINENCE has found a way to bring a fresh and unique perspective to the sound on their 3rd full length album "Turn The Light On". It's also heavier than their previous effort and there are plenty of harsh vocals. They have firmly planted themselves in a veteran sound, and they know what they want to accomplish musically. The musicianship and artistic direction throughout the album is consistent and clearly put together, it's very well written. The experimentation with sounds and styles is exciting, which gives the album tons of ebb and flow. It does stall a bit in the back half, but I'll touch on that later and ultimately it's not a huge deal I'm just nit picking because this is a review.

The INCREDIBLE vocals from Eddie Berg are a highlight, both cleans and harsh, he blends the two together with perfection. He also plays the violin, which becomes an incredible highlight of the album (see "Infectious"). So how fucking cool is that? Don't sleep on the the production and instrumentalists either though, the guitars and bass blend exactly as they should, and the drums fall in right behind them in the mix perfectly. It's a beautifully cohesive and full sound.

They are definitely alternative metalcore still, but what really sets them apart from other similar outfits is while those bands tend to have more of an alternative leaning while often dipping into heavy moments, IMMINENCE is heavy leaning while often dipping into alternative moments on "Turn The Light On". To make it even better: the heavy parts are decidedly djent focused. Even in the softer moments they find ways to frequently tie in djenty vibes. There's also plenty of more traditional metalcore riffage too, and some rock strumming for good measure, but there's tons of djent and it's a defining feature. The bass on this album is phenomenal.

The album starts out VERY alternative and soft, and it's misleading because of the heaviness that follows. Opener "Erase" sounds more like a rock song that anything, very soft with pretty much only cleans. More reminiscent of their previous album. It's impeccably well sung though, definitely an interesting way to begin. It makes you feel like that's going to be the defining sound through the album, but that is just not the case. Right after track 2 "Paralyzed" still holds onto a bit of the rock feel, but it establishes the heavier riffage and we start to get some of those oh so wonderful harsh vocals from Berg.

But then, and all the way through the middle of the album, we get significantly heavier, bassier, and djentier riffs and a lot more harsh vocals. "Room To Breathe" is one of their darkest and djentiest pieces, it sounds like upgraded ERRA. "The Sickness" really embraces the melodic side while still sounding heavy. While they don't sound similar, another band that does that approach really well is INSOMNIUM, so that's just again a testament to the quality songwriting of IMMINENCE. "Infectious" sounds softer, but still brings incredible harsh vocals and some of my favorite guitar work on the album (which of course, djents). Also Berg's vocals on this one are especially incredible, and he does some really cool things with his words rhythmically. "Infectious" probably also has the coolest use of the violin, it's a top track on the album and one that will become familiar with the replay button. The highs and lows between the softer moments marked by beautiful cleans vs the HEAVY djenty riffs with some of the most cutting harsh vocals is incredible.

The album isn't without a bit of a downside. It doesn't rob it of it's excellence, but it does hold it back from being on a whole other level (I personally feel). It is a bit long at 13 songs, and by the time you get past the halfway mark and into the 3rd quarter of the album, it feels a bit stale and repetitive. I would never want to bash legitimate artistry, so if they felt passionately every single track deserved to make the cut, then that's fine and I support it. But for my money the tracklist could have been shortened a bit. Throughout tracks like "Scars"Disconnected""Wake Me Up", and "Don't Tell A Soul" while you don't really lose anything, it's still the same level of quality with lots of cool riffs and djent, it doesn't go anyplace different than some earlier, more heavy and creative tracks. Between those and a few scattered more ballad-esque numbers like "Saturated Soul" and the softest song on the album , closer "Love & Grace" (which were both beautiful songs), the album does lose a bit of the oomph and momentum it builds up early on, at least for my taste. It seems like it could have packed more of a punch at 10-11 songs. But at least the nice thing about the longer back half leading to the soft closer is they set it up with track 12 "Lighthouse", one of the heaviest and most instrumentally impressive tracks. Reminds me a lot of ARCHITECTS.

But all in all, the album slaps hard. Any pacing issues and dragging on aside, which are nit picky complaints, it's so impressively well written and put together. The songwriting, instrumentation, and production all show signs of veterans who are progressing and getting better. The vocals from Eddie Berg are some of the best in the genre right now, and his use of violin is so cool. That's an absolute highlight of the album. The emotion and passion conveyed through the music is on another level.

If you're a fan of metalcore or djent, this album will be worth checking out to you. It's an underrated effort from an underrated band, and it's really something that deserves to blow up. I'm thrilled with how it all came together, and I'm greatly excited for future efforts from IMMINENCE. They are now one of my higher up bands I'll be keeping an eye on moving forward. Brilliant effort all around on "Turn The Light On".

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Erase
2. Paralyzed
3. Room To Breathe
4. Saturated Soul
5. Infectious
6. The Sickness
7. Death Of You
8. Scars
9. Disconnected
10. Wake Me Up
11. Don’t Tell A Soul
12. Lighthouse
13. Love & Grace
Lineup:
Eddie Berg - Vocals, Violin
Harald Barrett - Guitar
Peter Hanström - Drums
Christian Höijer - Bass
Record Label: Arising Empire
     


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Edited 19 June 2019
 

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