You can always count on Thrasher to deliver intense excellence, and here they have created an entire album’s worth of awesome, hard-charging music based around a fantastic concept! A hacker is trying to save society from the malicious clutches of the “desync reality”, a virtual world that promises salvation but instead exploits its inhabitants. The album follows the unnamed protagonist’s progress by delivering song after song of inventive and merciless metal encapsulated in finely crafted tracks that meld fierce guitars and traditional metal arrangements with electronic components through dynamic progressions. It fits the theme perfectly, and I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did. I’ll give a rundown of the songs next, so please join me below the break if you care to. Either way, go grab this album and get rocking!
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The story begins with “future_null”, which opens quietly, easing into a wondrous ambience…and then driving a stake into the arrangement via electric guitar and a pulsing drum/synth combo. Then things take a twist as the song heads into an electronic section full of rumbling bass, scratchy ambience, and echoey synths. The guitar then ushers in a return to the rock arrangement, and these two worlds proceed to collide in spectacular fashion for the remainder of the track. “reconnection” follows, opening with some tense strings and then fills out the arrangement with guitar, bass, and drums. There’s some really slick guitar work here that weaves fantastic melodic interplay into a punishing wall of distorted noise. The shift to choirs and ambient elements again throws things off balance, the blips seeming both purposeful and erratic. It sets up the return to the metal instrumentation perfectly, and the juxtaposition of technical and emotional guitar tracks creates excellent depth. “_eject” then thrashes its way into existence seemingly out of nowhere in a brief, all-out assault that is simply pleasing. The story doesn’t end when things go quiet–it just sets up the aptly-named “dark”, a track that begins in pulsing, skittering fashion and then launches into full flight via insanely fast drum kicks and melodic metal goodness. Again, the interplay of the more simple melody with the more technical guitar work is so well done. “fullforce” opens with soft record noise before screaming into full force. Churning guitar passages are met by more subdued drum and bass interludes, and electronics provide great support again. “collapse” begins with distorted synth, ticking along pleasantly. Then the full arrangement joins in chock full of rock goodness, angst piled on ambience in a heavy metal dystopian film score. It’s just a thematically huge and super satisfying song with so many layers of sound working successfully in concert. “breaking_point” scratches to life menacing and then plows into face melting guitars before breaking into amazing effects, ambience, and thumping beats. The effects mixed into the arrangement give a vibe of things fraying, and again there is that terrific interplay between guitar tracks fueling the tense narrative. “surrender” isn’t an offer of surrender–it’s a demand for compliance delivered by operatic melodies composed of strings, aggressive percussion, calibrated guitars, and sinister effects. “containment breach”, which previously featured on the Equinity 05: Eruption album, is an amazing combination of atmosphere, effects, and pounding rock. I remember being blown away by it before, and it fits in perfectly here, somehow sounding both familiar and surprisingly new. The dubstep section is a perfect interlude, proving once again how well it combines with metal to create intense and interesting soundscapes. “outbreak_” provides a fitting coda to this tour-de-force, opening with pulsing, skittering, and buzzing percussion and effects. The humming ambience builds ominously before the metal arrangement kicks down the door while the ambience remains to provide depth and deliver an unsettling melody. Salvation is delivered through deconstruction as desync reality is ripped apart, eventually ending in mechanical ambience as the simulation fails. What an album!