Sound — 9
One need only cast a brief glance across the CV of Mr Matthew Leonard Rowe, the creative force behind Leviathan of the Sea, to realise this is an individual with considerable depth of experience, both musically and personally, from which to draw, for a man his age. Those familiar with Matthew's former project - Perth Metalcore exponents Anime Fire - will also be familiar with the development and maturation of his vocal style and musical craftsmanship over his career thus far. The vocal style and sound honed throughout this period now cements itself as one of the most unique, rich, intriguing and downright brutal voices in modern metal. Sonically, the deep, guttural, and incredibly powerful vocal sound sit very naturally within, behind, in front of, and at times beneath, well crafted, uncomplicated and uncompromisingly heavy arrangements guitar & bass arrangements. Complimented and completed by collaboration with the immensely talented Canadian skinsman Tim Burak, and highly regarded Danish producer Tue Madsen, the end result is a beautifully organic yet very polished, very honest collection of quality metal tracks.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrical content is refreshingly sincere, personal, and eloquent compared to a lot of current death metal/death core. Themes of personal reflection, messages of hope, scathing critiques of destructive institutions and philosophies, and hints of deep sensitivity to, and understanding of, human vulnerability are all present and well articulated. These themes comply effortlessly with the soundscape in which they're delivered and are served very appropriately by the power with which they are delivered.
Overall Impression — 9
Qualities sound-wise of Roots era Sepultura and some of the more recent Meshuggah records exist at times, but this reviewer is loathe to draw comparisons to other artists beyond that as an amount of the albums allure is it's uniqueness.
For me, standout tracks are "Bad Blood" and "My Constitution", but the record flows beautifully from track to track, and being only a fraction over 20 minutes in total, I actually tend to regard it as a series of movements in one longer piece (but thats just me)... I love the power, sincerity, conviction, and obvious thought that has clearly gone in to it's creation. Oh, and I'n a big fan of Christopher Hitchens and Carl Sagan, both whom feature...
I hate that its only 5 tracks, and that it's been too long between drinks - I want more.