Madrost – The Essence of Time Matches No Flesh

Madrost – The Essence of Time Matches No Flesh

The songs on The Essence of Time Matches No Flesh practically spring out the speakers. The opener, “Eyes of the Deceit”, offers an aggressive, double-bass-heavy drum attack with crisp riffing bookended by moments of reverb-laden guitars. The band’s marketing material describes Madrost as progressive thrash, but the opening track points to traditional death metal. Most of the album does.

This is the third album by Southern California’s Madrost. The Essence of Time Matches No Flesh is animated and lively. Agile riffing and tight, unflagging drums over raspy vocals make most of the seven songs highly enjoyable.

For example, “No Future” charges ahead for three minutes before taking a breath. Thrash-style riffing breaks the song open and gallops ahead. Hard rock figures that introduce respectable breakdowns at the chorus only keep the foot on the gas. “No Future” is one of my favorites.

But the animated guitar work and commanding drums that characterize the album are mostly absent on “Scorned.” The music on this track is coherent but stilted. Riffs climb, chug, stammer, then pick up again. Clumsy, like a watercolor artist suddenly using clay.

The album has other flaws. A few outros go on too long, one or two of the breakdowns are not terribly original, and there are several bargain-bin riffs within the album’s 37 minutes.

“Abstractions” has none of these problems. The song boasts grooves and synchronized, complimentary guitars that pound away while vocals scrape a space for the lyrics: “Faced with isolation, born from dust / Now the Earth begins to shrink from a vile force / Grown from fear that harms the spirit and soul / Treachery that leads to nothingness / Stare into a nonexistent world / Realize it’s only just begun / And as you witness your life crumble / The imagination is spinning out of control.”

“The Silence In Ruins” delivers the album’s best moment. At three minutes, the song opens up – power chords ring out while higher notes play a triumphant counterpoint. The spaciousness is welcome within an album of otherwise condensed, tight sounds. The band’s angular attack also steps away on “Dimensions”, revealing passages of muddy chords under rapid, steady double-bass drumming. The effect, coming at the end of the album, is weighty, like a two-ton period at the end of crisp sentence.