There seems to be no limit whatsoever to the free fall of what was once called creativity and constructiveness, hence the seemingly endless stream of clones of clones and replicas of replicas in the Metal scene in general. GNOSTIC, a very profound name for a band, consists of former ATHEIST members, but alas the vocalist is new, reminding me of stuff like SHADOWS FALL only worse.
Exactly what is happening to the members of ATHEIST, that they have decided to play in a new band called GNOSTIC, that is qualitative the worse idea, and in addition to go from their amazing jazzy Technical Death Metal to the not-so-amazing "technical" new stuff. The weakest aspect of the band is with great certitude the vocalist, more to him later on. For the ones looking for the amazing ATHEIST material, you will be greatly disappointed and let down, since there is nothing left of past greatness.
GNOSTIC's "Engineering The Rule" is actually not as dull and lifeless as it may sound and could actually have a lot of potential if it weren't for the guy "singing" to dispose of his emotional and tough wailing through the auditory experience. The bands that come to mind which proceed in a similar way are the oh so great DESPISED ICON vocalists and their army of clones (see Deathcore), which describe themselves as and stain the name of Death Metal. If you are seeking impressive action with good vocalists, then look elsewhere. While the music itself and the song structures may not be half bad, the vocalist ruins almost every hope for this album to succeed in being good or at least listenable. ATHEIST members always have managed to sound original, concerning composition, but this time, they bit their own tongue hiring the vocalist.
All in all, there is nothing that would get me to listen a second time to this album. In fact, I had to cancel my listening experience at half-time, because my nerves wouldn't take it. I can listen to 60 albums of MERZBOW in a row (and I have, not at once, but in a row) but I can not go through another 20 minutes of this simply because of the vocalist. Never again, not even if somebody pays me to do so, there is nothing that can be harvested from here, not even if there is nothing else to listen to. I'd rather have silence than force feed me this crap. Stay away from this.
(Online November 3, 2009)