Eciton – Suspension of Disbelief
I can always fancy some good tech-death and Eciton’s “Suspension of Disbelief” has already been out for over a month, so upon discovering its existence, I could hardly find a better idea to fill the free time I have on my hands. This is the band’s third full-length outing and it comes to life at a full decade’s distance from the previous release, “A Scent of Veracity”. In 10 songs summing up to 39 minutes of music, the Danish 4-piece unleashes an unstoppable barrage of riff-driven madness that simultaneously pleases and scars one’s eardrums beyond hope. So let’s get into this and see what it’s all about.
As soon as the opening track ‘Demagogue’ kicks off, the core component that makes their sound so undeniably brutal rips its way through the speaker. You guessed it, Riffs! For the entire duration of the album, the riffage maintains an insane pace that simply drives the energy forward without giving the listener a moment to breathe. From galloping riffs to tremolo picking and occasional outbursts of slamming patterns, the guitars do everything in their power to keep the entropy levels as high as possible and given the raw, crunchy, overdriven effect, you might almost qualify this into blackened death metal territory at times.
While I generally prefer the more refined, modern production sound that is quite regularly encountered within the realms of technical death metal, I actually have to commend the somewhat stripped-down production that these guys went for since it is truly fitting for the vibe (or rather lack of vibe) that they were going for but somehow still presents the full instrumental scope in quite easily discernible sound quality.
On the drums, there can be no other technique than the oh holy blast beat that most strikes my fancy but I must also mention the man’s superb capability to tie things together, keeping a constant flow throughout the song. But he can also simply rip the rhythm into pieces if the given moment finds that choice suiting. And while for the most part, the speed and endurance are what comes through the most, certain moments allow them to drop some genuinely striking headbangers. But in terms of rhythm, it is still the odd times and tempo changes that tickle my fancy the most. Though not a dominant component, the progressive elements are certainly the primary feature that makes this album also sound interesting instead of being just pointlessly brutal.
As far as lead guitars are concerned, there are plenty of solos, all sounding more or less the same in the sense that they’re quite one-sided and aimed at technique rather than melody which I found rather disappointing but there is also a fair degree of lead melody infused into the riffs that brings a refreshing change. While we’re on the drawbacks I need to mention that the vocals are unfortunately quite lacking in any expressive tone or diversity and feel really stale, dwelling in a slightly thrash-metal styled bark/growl, undoubtedly intended to sound brutal but for the most part, just falling flat.
That sums up about everything you’ll hear for the first four songs on the album up until ‘Twisted Politics’ hits you in the face with some insane bass solo moments that further build on the same attitude of savagery. For the remaining duration of the album, the same recurring elements keep circling around and while truly impressive at first, it’s not long before the lack of diversity starts taking its toll on my enjoyment. For anyone seeking nuances or artistic expression at a more mature level, I would likely advise you to look away and instead invite most of the classic or technical death metal fans in search for brutality to rally behind Eciton. In short, despite the progressive component there isn’t much musical refinement to be drawn here but if it’s an onslaught you’re seeking, an onslaught you shall receive. And with that perspective in mind, this is actually quite a good listen.