When someone says "progressive metal", you may think of bands like Protest The Hero or Between The Buried And Me, and whether you agree with "djent" being a genre or not, it's an easy way to describe some bands in the progressive realm to avoid confusion. As soon as someone says "djent", you'll think of bands that like most of their material to be laden with groovy riffs (ex: Periphery, Tesseract, Meshuggah, etc.), and this review is on one of those bands -- Entities.
Entities is a progressive metalcore/djent act from Sacramento, CA. After approximately two years of being a band, they have released two EPs: 2012's Luminosity and 2013's newly released Aether. Aether was released on New Years Eve, a nice treat for the metal folk that decided to stay in for the night.
"Primordium" opens the EP with the expected syncopated djent riffing, but it doesn't incorporate too much melody or keep the listener's intererst because it's a bit too long. Thankfully, Entities turns things around on the next track titled "Hadean". Chugging is prevalent on this song (as well as most of the others on Aether), but there is also an abundance of melody that coincides very well with the aforementioned chugging. The third track, the previously released "Lines Of Descent", is even better than the first two tracks combined. The grooves are more enjoyable and the melodies are much more ambient, causing "Lines Of Descent" to sound like a mix of Aristeia and The Contortionist.
Next up is "Revival", which combines ambience, groove-laden chugs, and a few spectacular mini-solos with stellar drumming and monstrous vocals. As "Revival" comes to a close, it starts to drag on, but even after taking that into consideration, it's still one of the strongest tracks on Aether. Following "Revival" is the second instrumental track on the EP, "Ontogenesis". While it is much stronger than the EP's opener ("Primordium"), it still seems slightly unnecessary. Just as Entities did before, though, they turn things up a notch after the interlude.
"Between Polarities" is a beautiful piece of art, and it's still gut-wrenchingly heavy. The vocals seem even more powerful than on previous tracks and it's very strong instrumentally. As the track nears the midway point, it goes from impressive to downright awe-inspiring because everything seems to be turned up another notch; the drumming fast and technical, the guitar parts extremely melodic and groovy. After a fairly repetitive and lengthy solo (don't take that the wrong way - it sounds excellent), "Between Polarities" closes out with the ambience that we've all come to expect from Entities. Just as you think Aether is coming to a close, you're greeted with a huge lead on "Streamlined". Entities couldn't have picked a better way to close out the EP as "Streamlined" combines anything and everything that the band has ever thrown at their fans.
Spanning just over 27 minutes, Aether is another step in the right direction for Entities. Yes, it had some weaker parts, but all-in-all, it's a very fun listen that keeps your full attention for the majority of the time. Also, when you compare Aether to Luminosity, the progression is more than noticable (in a good way). What more could you ask for from a band that already showed a very bright future ahead of them?
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