Review: Existentia “Calculating Failure”

Review: Existentia “Calculating Failure”

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Last year was very significant for the young American band Existentia from Pennsylvania State, when they have released two singles and one EP Calculating Failure, independently and via Stump Grinder Records. And quite a debut they have made, even with this 14-minute long release it is clear that they feel very confident in the relentless realm of brutal/technical death metal.

Born out of quarantine in the midst of pandemic restrictions, this brutal trio has decided to put in all their energy and creative ideas in their new music. Time was really good to concentrate on something creative and let out your inner demons, when everything else was so limited. Maybe partly out of boredom, partly out of frustration these USA brutalists have started this band, but whatever, we are here for the results, inter alia, their debut extended play Calculating Failure in the best traditions of broad possibilities of death metal.

Technically, the songs aren’t that long and complicated, but in those 3+ minutes they have managed to create holistic and diverse musical forms of art, like each of these four compositions has a unique soul. So, the songs sound complete and absolutely comprehensible in all accounts. And you can forget about the boredom too, because this isn’t just straightforward drab brutal death metal, it is full of extra details – from epic background and melodic vibes to thrash/grindcore rhythms and sophisticated progressivity.

There is some slight shift towards discorded chaotic metalcore/mathcore principles, especially in a title track “Calculating Failure”, making it not only more technically refined, but also in a way experimental. Symphonic elements also embellish the atmosphere, but very unobtrusively like a distant arrangement (especially in “Planned Obsolescence” and “Artifice Hallucination”). Melodic glimpses are flashing vibrantly here and there, but without strong roots, so brutal death foundation isn’t damaged at all; Calculating Failure is still very heavy and fierce record. The variability is very euphonious and is obtained by bridges, so the song structurally changes all the time, but still stays under constant stylistic and atmospheric review. Muted vocals are the most evident flaw during this album, and though the singing of Jacob Nunn (who is also their drummer) is classical in every death metal aspect, the other instruments consume it without a real chance to kill off with their bloodthirsty severity. So, there is still a lot of work concerning their sound, which is far from perfect.

Existentia is an experienced band with good potential and catchy compositions, so, there’s nothing to worry about their capacity to compete in an overcrowded extreme metal scene. But of course, that’s not enough to be noticed by masses. And yet, they are on the right path, banging and crushing through all the world’s shit.

Release date: September 17th, 2021

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