Entheos – Time Will Take Us All Review

Animosity—a lesser-known early deathcore act—ripped wild through riff and breakdown alike, a different breed to the normally bass drop and breakdown-filled style. The California troupe played instead a bark-enabled brutal death metal removed from the viciousness of peak Cryptopsy only by a -core core, never quite joining torchbearers like Job for a Cowboy or Carnifex in popularity. Not wanting for talent, Animosityߵs rhythm section would continue to pulse through other veins. Bassist Evan Brewer would lend his qualified thump to The Faceless, Fallujah, and more. Drummer Navene Koperweis briefly pounded tricky skins with Animals as Leaders and found other high-profile session gigs, including the most recent Machine Head album. Always reaching, though, the two reunited in 2015 to continue to progress their idea of rhythm-focused, technical death metal through Entheos. So, with a couple solid efforts already under the Entheos banner, can Time Will Take Us All propel this hard-working act to greater heights?

While maintaining an adventurous, sidewinding, off-groove approach to progressive death metal, Entheos weaves powerfully a patchwork of identities under the modern veneer that covers Time Will Take Us All. Koperweis (providing drums and guitars) blends the calculated stank-faced grooves of pre-obZen Meshuggah (“The Inner Wilderness”) with the muted scale rips of previously scene-filling Sumerian artists like Veil of Maya (“In Purgatory,” “Darkest Days”), nodding sparingly to Animosity along the way. Touching another Fredrik Thordendal project, his eponymous Special Defects, each track on Time flows freely into the next, the wormy, compressed warble that closes “Absolute Zero” uniting much of Time melodically. Vocalist Chaney Crabb even recaptures that strange act’s modulated, alien vocal textures. And drifting into less extreme waters, similar to the law of increasing hippitude abiding The Contortionist,1 the B side unfolds into a progressive, glistening crescendo. Whether through croon, bellow, hiss, or scowl Crabb ensures that Time never stops.

Outside of the alternative-leaning stomp “I Am the Void,” which exudes a chest-pounding, groove metal bravado, choruses don’t define this work’s deepest hooks. Rather, Entheos leans on warping motifs to lure the listener through the techy twisted staircase nightmare land portrayed on the frightful Kantor cover. In fact, up until the fizzled “Oblivion” outro you may not have realized that four tracks shredded, slammed, and shrieked straight through your noggin. Still these numbers can hold their own out of context. That kind of fluidity doesn’t hold for the shorter cut “Clarity in Waves,” though as a setup for “The Sinking Sun” that follows, it performs admirably. Either way, it’s an easy task to listen to Time from front to back as Koperweis’ hypnotic drone (“Into Purgatory”) and punishing kick work (“The Inner Wilderness”) let up only at the album’s titular close to allow in just a bit of light.

However, Entheos produces densely layered music that demands both a meticulous mix and spacious master to soar, and Time does not fully embrace that. Brewer’s bass suffers, only finding easy footing when his fretless noodling rides up front (“Oblivion, “Time Will Take Us All”). Otherwise, his dry popping signal has a hard time consistently finding space amongst deep, centered kicks and thick-stringed, chunky riffs. In a different context handled by the same engineer, Mark Lewis (Fallujahߵs Empyrean) handles Brewer’s work more deftly, potentially because of the higher frequency soundscape—Time has BASS as Entheos loves to play it low and churning. As a result Crabb, when she reaches for her normally piercing nasal snarl, also gets lost at the boundaries of the higher range (“The Interior Wilderness”). Lewis did do well to layer and highlight the new Crabb cleans sprinkled about, most notably on the back half, but with as many vocal tracks as Crabb delivers, it’s hard to feature them all.

Despite all that, Entheos has set forth a journey well worth visiting. Straying away from the pitfalls of modern deathcore, the hyperstimulation of wank-filled tech, and the overbearing mechanical groove into which ‘djent’ has trapped a once urgent percussive sound, Time Will Take Us All blends punishing ingredients in a sophisticated and exciting matter. Most importantly, though, Entheos has found a focus that has given rise to an experience that flourishes with end-to-end listenings. With a number of lineup changes over the years, stripped to the core of Crabb, Koperweis, and Brewer, Entheos shines. Time Will Take Us All should be headed straight to your next playlist—in full, please.

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Metal Blade
Websites: entheosstore.com | entheosofficial.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/entheosband
Releases Worldwide: March 3rd, 2023

Show 1 footnote

  1. Kronos‘ undeniable law.
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