Epoch of Unlight - The Continuum Hypothesis
After a long time in-between releases, Epoch of Unlight has finally released their fifth album, The Continuum Hypothesis. With new vocalist, BJ Cook, the band unleashes a relentless assault of technical and melodic thrash metal mixed with influences of death and black metal. The musicianship on this record is fabulous throughout, with the standout qualities coming from guitarist Josh Braddock. There are some wicked riffs on this disc which are complimented by some excellent leads and solos. The drumming is solid and Tino LoSicco keeps the pace furious with loads of double bass and blasting. The vocals, while not being anything special, are executed nicely in a thrashy growl with some occasional hints at some blackish vocal stylings. While everything seems to be in the band's favor, there just seems to be something missing here. The song are all quality, but no one song really seems to stand out. Yes, Epoch of Unlight knows how to play some great metal tunes, but after sifting through the 53 minutes of music...even multiple times...you still kinda scratch your head and wonder if you paid close enough attention cause you can't remember much specific about what you just heard. I will say that the second half of this album, starting with track 5, seems to be the half of the album that keeps my attention better. Even then, my mind often drifts only to realized I missed a track. Hopefully, this problem only occurs with me, cause this is an extremely talented band and I'd hate for all this great musicianship to go to waste when people buy the album and get bored before the first spin of the disc is finished. However, I've listened to this album tons of times, at different times of day, in different CD players and rarely does my opinion differ. Great music, but with songs that have only average staying-power. The Continuum Hypothesis is one of those albums that's best listened to one or two songs at a time mixed in with some other bands.
As far as the rest of the package goes, production is well done with a raw feel to it, packaging is attractive while nothing to rave about, and the lyrics...well, they confuse me. Maybe I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, but this band had me clueless with their lyrical content. For one, you will need your Webster's Dictionary nearby. Check out this verse, "Fetid crests of purulent seas flowing over all/The cleansing streams transecting time/Guided through the propylacum of the lemniscate/Supposition's proof in drowning cries/Aberrant infinities...a systematic return to primal night/Incalculable nefariousness swathed in failing light." I mean...geesh...it's good to be educated and have a big vocabulary, but who talks like this? While I do admire a band that puts lots of time into lyric writing, I don't have days on end to spend time studying them and looking up words to figure out what the songs are about. While nothing seems to be overly offensive in the lyrics, even if there were, I wouldn't know it.
Overall, Epoch of Unlight really does display a firm grasp on how to play impressive metal. I also bet that they would be a fun band to see play live. However, overflowing ability doesn't always a good album make. This is driving, aggressive, excellently played metal that unfortunately lands shy of the bullseye in my opinion.
Review By: Matt Morrow
Label: The End Records
Total Songs: 11
Total Time: 53:14
Tracklisting: 1. The Continuum Hypothesis, 2. Under Starside Skies, 3. Argentum Era Secui Duos, 4. Cardinality, 5. Highgate, 6. The End of All, 7. Broken Pendulum, 8. Aberrant Shadows, 9. Quicksilver to Ash, 10. Denubrum, 11. The Scarlet Thread.
Best Songs: Tracks 5, 8, 9, and 11.
Band Lineup: BJ Cook - Vocals, Josh Braddock - Guitars, Tino LoSicco - Drums, Joe Totty - Bass.
Band Website: http://www.epochofunlight.net