Eschaton sentinel apocalypse 01Longtime readers will have gleaned of my general distaste for the post–The Faceless tech death scene of modern times. While there are still a lot of cool acts out there producing great tech death that doesn’t stray into the territory of the growing dissonant/experimental death scene (more on this later), such as Origin and Archspire, there are even more bands jumping aboard the proverbial white fifteen-passenger van and opening up their very own, cash-only, cut-rate ramen emporiums. I won’t name names, but this is all the fault of Brain Drill. It’s gotten bad enough that the label of tech-death has become a troubling thing to see on the promo list. Enter Eschaton, who have painstakingly prepared their debut to appear as offensively banal as possible.

With album art straight from the canvas of the renown French painter Cliché and a production job handled by a couple of milk cartons and a bottle of Tang, Sentinel Apocalypse – dear atheist god, that title – seems designed specifically to make me as vehement as possible. While there are some nice moments across the first half of the album, like the harmonized leads in “Behold the Nexus” and a few interestingly syncopated riffs and Black Dahlia Murder-esque lines here and there in “Obligatory Conviction” and “Achromatic Reign,” the majority of this disc is produced-to-death garbage. Even the title track is bad, and at nearly seven minutes long and featuring countless riffs, leads, and breakdowns it’s nearly impossible to sit through.

Graciously, this album is just under 40 minutes long, and while it’s by no means a snappy and entertaining listen, another song or two would push it beyond the insufferable point. Also of note are the vocal and drum performances, or rather lack thereof. The screams on Sentinel Apocalypse make Thomas Giles look like Matthew Chalk. They’re as diverse as a Monsanto-approved cornfield and about half as robust, and $20 says the lyrics, which I really don’t want to ever read, make reference to Cthulu, ‘quantum physics’, and evil space-fairing races. To match this incredibly low bar, the drums have been heinously replaced with some pitchshifted bubble wrap.

Eschaton sentinel apocalypse 02

Only a single album this year surpasses Sentinel Apocalypse in outright putridity of sound quality, and I haven’t reviewed it yet. The same guy who fondled the knobs on last year’s miscarriage of a Pillory record was inexplicably contracted to ruin Eschaton‘s music in the same fashion that he ruined his own, and the resemblance is striking. Sentinel Apocalypse sounds every bit as bad as Evolutionary Miscarriage; the drums were bought in large-resealable tubs at Sam’s Club, the guitars have all the elegance and depth of a day old bag of White Castle sliders, and the bass, while often audible, appears to have been recorded direct to MIDI and swapped out for a single modulated pluck track. Mastering quality is completely irrelevant here, since the production has so thoroughly compressed and swapped out every note that not even Colin Marston would be able to save it.

This album is bad. I do not recommend that you listen to it.

Rating: 1.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Unique Leader
Release Dates: Out Worldwide: 05.19.2015

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  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    “renown French painter Cliché”

    I had to stop reading to laugh and comment!

    • “I won’t name names, but this is all the fault of Brain Drill.” is my personal favorite

    • Chronic-Headache

      Greatest burn ever of the day

  • Kmill

    Well at least the review was terrific!

  • Kryopsis

    I admit, I gave them a go to hear what ‘pitchshifted bubble wrap’ sounds like.

  • Tom Hardy

    White Castle are one of the very few establishments that use real eggs in their breakfast sliders and they have a special Valentines Day thing where you can get a reservation and they have a Santa fookin Claus for Christmas. I know this because I stopped by a joint on my way to the Lincoln Theater and the lady there was kind enough to give me a run down of the establishment when I quizzed her how I expected a castle instead of an outlet at the bottom of a building on 8th/ 9th avenue, my memory fails me. Anyway, there’s no need to hate on their sliders. I’ve had a many since and own a slider candle. Speaking of Colin, I’d love to hear a new Krallice. In the meantime, I’ll listen to his new project which’s ballsy amazing. I submitted em on this site.

    • Kronos

      Actually sopped by white castle last night after a very strange concert featuring Lorna Shore and Deicide on the same bill (?). Picked up some onion rings veggie sliders, as is my wont, and they were in the upper half of all veggie burgers I’d say.

      • Tom Hardy

        Bravo. I’m saddened by their discontinuance of their pulled pork sliders and their massively powdered Ranch chicken rings. They serve the latter with a sauce these days from what I hear. You’ve got to give their special Sriracha sliders a shot, they’re on a limited run. And of course, their breakfast sliders are a must have. Cheerio.

  • Vice-President of Hell

    What’s wrong with Brain Drill? Brain Drill create crazy as fuck music that fun to listen.

  • Thatguy

    This review serves the purpose of a review – it entertains and informs – thanks

    The embedded video is no longer available and there is clearly no point going looking for it

  • Oh good I just re-read it and noticed it says Space-fairing races and I can’t stop giggling at the idea of space fairies being the subject of their lyrics.

  • Pacal

    “…territory of the growing dissonant/experimental death scene (more on this later)”

    Was the “more” the reference to Colin Marston and implicitly his involvement with Gorguts and Artificial Brain?

    • Kronos

      Only time will tell!

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    I’ll have you know, Kronos, that I am most incredibly jealous of your opinion-to-paper communication skills. Terrific review. Those blast beats are making me bleed in places that men should never need to bleed. The Ctrl+P is strong with this one.

  • 517H

    Have to politely disagree, mate. You do make some valid points. Especially production-wise. The bass is definitely not present enough for my liking. The guitars might be a little too prominent too. But I think the riffs and composition are there. The depth (and repeated listens) comes from the duelling guitar parts (left and right) especially on the song Immortal Mutilation, which at one point brings in a 3rd lead guitar in the centre. The way they separate the guitars on some riffs and then bring them together and play them exactly the same on the next riff is pretty cool. Sure that technique has been done before but these guys do a pretty good job of it. They definitely show promise.

    • Kronos

      Of course the band is doing cool things with the guitars; they’re a tech death band. If you want compositional complexity or showmanship in your metal, tech-death should be your go to. I wholeheartedly agree. However, I never want to listen to this album again because it sounds terrible and doesn’t have any enjoyable songs. Of course all the members are competent, but they’re making music that’s fairly run-of-the-mill within its genre.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Colin Marsten could single handily save anything

    • Kronos

      ooh, nice eggcorn.

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        He could be the ‘Wolf’ of death metal…

  • antitayyip

    entschuldigung, aber diese album ist ein kunstwerk..

  • basenjibrian

    Damn, those drums do have a unique sound! OMG!

  • Feeblejocks

    This reminds me strongly of Rings of Saturn, but without the insane weirdness and ironic sense of humor (I think) that made those guys fun to listen to.

    In the immortal words JonTron has passed down to all future reviewers of any media: “Uhh, issa 2/10, bad [album], don’t buy.”