Voidceremony - Entropic Reflections Continuum: Dimensional Unravel - (8.5/10)
Published on July 6, 2020
Label:20 Buck Spin
Looking back, 2017 was a brilliant year for death metal. Just for debuts alone we had Ascended Dead, Contaminated, Cryptic Fog, Necrot, Spectral Voice, and Suffering Hour, to name a few. I mention this year because there was another fine death metal release that year that flew under the radar for many, Voidceremony’s Foul Origins of Humanity EP. Formed in 2013, and also featuring Jon Reider and Charlie Koryn of Ascended Dead, the project has followed up that excellent EP and graced us with their debut album, Entropic Reflections Continuum: Dimensional Unravel.
Don’t let the fact that Entropic Reflections Continuum: Dimensional Unravel features members of Ascended Dead and was released by 20 Buck Spin form any initial ideas about what Voidceremony is up to here, because they’re a very different death metal beast. Entropic Reflections Continuum: Dimensional Unravel is a much more melodic and progressive album than either Abhorrent Manifestation or Voidceremony’s usual labelmates, as much as I like them. This album has far more in common with Piece of Time era Atheist than Necrovore.
Entropic Reflections Continuum: Dimensional Unravel is a throwback to the origins of progressive death metal, before the genre became saturated with largely lifeless, artificial wankery. It’s a brilliant success as well. Session bassist Damon Good (Cauldron Black Ram, Stargazer, Mournful Congregation) deserves special mention due to his fretless bass work. Good is constantly audible throughout the album, sizzling, popping, and churning along with Koryn’s jackhammer percussion. Koryn has played with some legendary bands (Demoncy, Incantation, Funebrarum) and some excellent newer bands as well with Necrosic, Rude, Skeletal Remains, and Ghoulgotha. He’s at the top of his game here and he and Good together are something special on this album.
Reider and fellow guitarist Garrett Johnson are no slouches either. Their riffs are cryptic, but not overwhelmingly so. They’re melodic, without being saccharine and have the labyrinthine, shifting qualities that often gets labelled progressive. No matter how densely layered or twisted they get, they’re never inaccessible or too murky. It’s incredible to believe this is the same band that made the Dystheism EP, which is one of the more chaotic releases I’m familiar with. The songwriting has improved leaps and bounds since the days of that EP.
Great individual performances don’t necessarily make for compelling songwriting, but Entropic Reflections Continuum: Dimensional Unravel also possesses the latter. This is an album that is full of highlights and awesome moments. The songs themselves are excellently composed, managing to be both out-there and extremely compelling. The album strikes a near perfect balance of mind-melting and melodic, which is something that in my opinion the well-known acts of progressive death metal often get wrong.
Entropic Reflections Continuum: Dimensional Unravel is a must-listen album of 2020. They don’t make progressive death metal bands like this anymore (at least, not very often) and everything about this album is absolutely brilliant. Entropic Reflections Continuum: Dimensional Unravel is highly recommended for fans of Atheist and Stargazer, along with newer bands like Zealotry and Blood Incantation.