November 4th, 2014
After entering their tenth year of existence, progressive metal outfit Adimiron will release their fourth effort Timelapse this November. Brutality is a universal language, but Adimiron honors that now time-honored tradition of European metal bands singing in English. So you’ll have no idea they hail from Italy. Well, now you do because I just told you.
With comparisons to the later works of Mastodon, Between the Buried and Me and Gojira, any listener to left-leaning metal will be right at home turning on Timelapse. What follows is a consistent piece of music that harnesses more of the zoned out quality of the prog realm rather than a stab-you-in-the-gut-and-pull-out-your-entrails kind of metal.
The album opener Collateral will immediately pique the interest of any Between the Buried and Me fan (this writer included) with its high tone guitar work chugging up and down the fret board at lightspeed. In fact, the level of sharp skill and tightness of all the players is more than apparent throughout the whole album. This doesn’t mean that Adimiron isn’t up for taking risks. State of Persistence introduces a frantic mathcore chop laid over a clicky double bass rumble. The lead guitar in Liar’s Paradox is also set emits squeaks in triplicate like it’s set to seek and destroy the listener. They know when to keep the composition tight and aggressive and when to loosen up and let it air out. There’s no question this band knows how to write metal and execute it well.
Unfortunately where this album falls short is in the vocals. Again this isn’t a lack of skill or execution, rather the disappointment lies within the inability to stand out amongst its peers. Vocalist Andrea Spinelli has an impressive control of his range and of his low growly rumbles. However, there’s this general push in progressive metal to dominate the melody of a song with vocals where it’s already well fleshed out with guitars. Adimiron falls into this trap. But I get it, this appeals to a lot of listeners. The full experience could just be so much more than cookie cutter prog, but unfortunately the vocals get lost in an already well established crowd.
Despite the shortcomings, the vocal portions do take some of the same risks the other instruments do. The title track implements some well placed but not overused vocoder clips. Liar’s Paradox also borrows from Tom Waits’ Circus with a squelch box, spoken word verse or two. Even with the spoken word portions, I didn’t have a particular draw to the lyrical content, but that’s fairly standard for my listening habits. Unless a line slaps me in the face with some profundity, I particularly don’t seek out the liner notes for further insights. The song titles seem to imply content ranging from the fantastic, to the observant, to the mythological.
In all, Timelapse is better as a sum of its parts rather than as a whole. Taken in pieces, individual tracks like Timelapse, Collateral and Ayahuasca command your attention and surprise you with some tricks you may not have heard before on a metal album. Though taking it in as a whole album may lose your attention, a few of the tracks will make their way into your repeated rotation.
- Individual song structures shine and don’t get proggy for prog’s sake
- Skill level is very apparent
- The sound experiments work and don’t sound out of place
- The production level is crisp but lends to a natural metal sound, not studio gloss
- The vanilla, post-nu metal vocals are the least variant thing on the album
- Tracks do not flow between one another
- Songs have notable components but ultimately sound too similar