Review: Abstracted “Atma Conflux” [M-Theory Audio]

Review: Abstracted “Atma Conflux” [M-Theory Audio]

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In mid spring Brazilian fivesome Abstracted gave birth to their first LP Atma Conflux via M-Theory Audio Records, releasing earlier a couple of singles that marked new stylistic era for them. From thrash/death metal roots their music has bloomed towards progressive melodic death direction, making it incredibly sophisticated and multi-layered.

Presumably, Abstracted invested a lot of efforts, time and resources into their debut album, because it doesn’t sound just professionally polished and fully-fledged, it also is meaningful, packed with fresh ideas, moments of immaculate beauty and experimental tricks. Based on solid progressive death metal foundation, Atma Conflux doesn’t swarm with clichés and hackneyed moves. Its energy is almost palpable; you just fly along the musical flow, from classical and comprehensible paths to abstract and tremendously profound depths of your own inner self through the veil of esoteric perception. This is a concept album about self-knowledge and redemption connected to arcane channels of cosmic multiverse. This is the case when material perfection meets its antipode, pure and metaphysical side. And the skillful play with harmonies allows us to equally immerse into savage brutality and melancholic elegance.

There’s a lot going on this record, the patterns are intricately built and entwined, creating the music that is structurally complicated but easy to perceive, when progressive side isn’t just for bragging about meticulous abilities, but to enrich the general mood and to kill off all the ordinary predictability. The most epic parts are connected to power metal’s catchiness and pomposity (“Whisper into the Void”), and occasional symphonic elements in the background strengthen versatile arrangements (“Decree of Sunlight”). From time to time acoustic elements add up pensive fragility, but rather in a soothing way; meanwhile space ambient bridge in “Eightfold Path” enhances the dreaminess and fairly pertinent wistfulness. But the progressive foundation isn’t ubiquitous on this record, sometimes the power of catchy simplicity gives us a break from all the technical marvels, providing with a solid portion of classical melodic death. The melodies are overpowering, death/thrash riffs are appealing and we can feel some classical music’s influence. We can’t ignore the attempts of the band to mess with modern sound, flirting with groove and core genres, but in a very subtle way (“Eightfold Path”).

To fully summarize this variegated mix of musical labyrinths, it’s safe to mention the role of keyboards. Their synth player Carol Lynn isn’t just responsible for atmospheric amplification; she decorates the music with cyber/industrial elements, ultimately directing Abstracted into experimental domain. The battle of voices is also hot topic on Atma Conflux, extreme and deep growls versus clean and emotional singing of Rosano Pedro Matiussi makes a very vivid contrast with an enviable passion. Of course, the lion’s share of progressivity lies with guitar players Guilherme Nolasco and Rosano Pedro Matiussi through all the rhythmic fluctuations and lead parts. The jazzy background of stunning bass lines from Riverton Alves reminds us of heyday of Cynic that are echoed by steady and mindful drumming of Alexandre Dantas. Every instrument matters, constructing exquisite musical tapestry with fascinating precision.

Atma Conflux doesn’t rely only on smooth musical side and fantastic arrangements; the lyrical part is equally important. The entire emotional maze full of ups and downs leads us to the opposite sites – from human degradation and our personal demons to celestial realms and mental exaltation. Beguiling artwork illustrates the battle between mental and scientific, material and astral, straightforward and symbolical. Abstracted have created this multifaceted journey in a musical form, infecting the audience with an overdose of sophistication and good taste.

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