Released: 2016, Artery Recordings
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
Entheos is something of a prog/death/djent metal underground all-star squad that teams former Animosity bandmates bassist Evan Brewer (also ex-The Faceless) and drummer Navene Koperweis (also ex-Animals As Leaders) with ex-Loathing Requiem/ Diskreet/Inferi guitarist Malcolm Pugh as its instrumental core and adds the wild card of flame-throwing ex-Systems vocalist Chaney Crabb.
As you might imagine, from a purely musical standpoint, Entheos are pretty friggin' amazing, especially with the rhythm section of the plucky Brewer and the athletic Koperweis who bring a lot of bounce to the bottom end here. The title track is as funky as extreme metal ever gets – and I don't mean that derisively – and the album as a whole is as buoyant and lively as it is bombastic and brutal.
In the bio material accompanying The Infinite Nothing, Koperweis describes the band's sound as “Death Fusion,” which seems quite apt. Pugh's lithe guitar work plays well with the limber rhythms, yet is still plenty abrasive and brash, especially when the tempos grow more frisky, as on “Bad Chemicals” or “Mind Alone” and the opener “Perpetual Miscalculatons,” which boast some of the album's crunchiest riffs.
And despite an ever-present progressive air, things never seem too technical or mathematical, even if a track like “Neural Damage” lives up to its name with the addition of chirpy synths and a screeching solo or “New Light” makes a jazzy foray. The songs are tightly wound and the performances, while consistently brilliant, are rarely, if ever, showy or indulgent.
Crabb's commanding presence certainly help keep things in check. Her deep, emphatic roar is imposing and then some – and occasionally terrifying - and her forceful cadence and well-tailored vocal lines steer Entheos forward in much the same way as Meshuggah's Jens Kidman - though the similarities between both bands pretty much end there.
Entheos is a band of formidable talents – and they deliver an equally formidable album. The Infinite Nothing offers just the right blend of dexterity, muscle and grit. It avoids the common trap to trying to be too clever by keeping things comparatively lean and mean, and the band members play to their obvious strengths while also playing as a team – and a good one at that.