For Fans Of
Let’s put the cards conveniently on the table from the very beginning, Animosity was an underrated band. A statement that becomes even more vindicated and precise a decade after the fact. Go on, cast the mind back to neat reference points, 2003, 2005 and/or 2007. Wipe the dust off the collective covers and carefully open the stereo slots. ‘Shut It Down’, ‘Empires’ and ‘Animal’ still seem more forward thinking and innovative than what masquerades as heavy today (Chelsea Grin, we’re looking directly at you).
Therefore, it’s fitting (and incredibly welcomed) that three fifth’s of the Bay Area outfit return with new musical endeavour Entheos. Like an amended epilogue, new EP ‘Primal’ offers listeners greater context to a band that ended well before its time.
Quick observations would immediately suggest that this is an even hybrid of Animosity and Animals As Leaders. While this is relevant and largely accurate, a wider, more discerning approach reveals the true charm and appeal here. This is a band in its own form and deserves its own isolated recommendations.
‘Primal’ is a slow burner…an acquired taste, if you will. The tech and death elements appear to conflict initially – like forcing a corner puzzle piece somewhere into the middle. However, concerns are quickly alleviated and after a few thorough listens, the overall presentation becomes clearer, with the listening experience more entertaining.
Could Navene Koperweis and Evan Brewer be the musical equivalent of NBA’s Splash Bros? It’s a bold statement and perhaps a broad comparison, but there’s no denying, as far as rhythm sections go, this is an imposing and masterful combination.
‘Specific Meaning In A Group of Dots’ is as abstract as its name. At the risk of always going back to the well and comparing the music to the members’ predecessor band, it does share a lot of stylistic qualities with Animosity. It’s brutal, irregular and changes approach right when you’re busy comprehending the previous bars.
The self-titled track is technical, but it’s the final two moments in the collection that are forceful and most attentive. ‘Chemical Flashbacks’ is an ideal balancing point where the music feels linear and easy to engage with, but is still perfectly contrasted with the band’s effort to maintain a progressive sentiment. Longest offering ‘Form and Void’ is expansive and decisive. The added song length allows for development on the styles presented. There’s more room to breathe.
However, the tech elements do tend to overwhelm at times meaning the EP is not as inclusive as it could be. Essentially, it’s music for musicians. The execution and creation is striking, but unless an acute understanding of song structures and metre changes is already developed it can become off-putting. This is a minor, fleeting issue though.
‘Primal’ is quite meticulous in design. It seems carefully prepared instead of merely phoned in. This isn’t a band helplessly cramming the midnight before an exam. This is considered, detailed and well planned. The appetiser has now been served; let’s see what the main is like in the years ahead.
Careful, articulate and solid, Entheos take just four tracks to intrigue even the casual listener. While not entirely flawless, it’s the positives that leave the impression. Bedroom tech heads have a new musical companion to emulate, while the indifferent metalhead has something new to embrace. Recommended.
1. Specific Meaning In A Group of Dots
3. Chemical Flashbacks
4. Form and Void