Pronostic - Chaotic Upheaval review
|Release date:||May 2023|
01. Indefinite Continuity
02. Massive Disillusion
03. Conclusion Impromptue
04. Concealed Parasite
06. Bare And Wretched
07. L'impureté Globale
08. Drained By Remorse
09. The Pure Celestial Being
10. Abstract Entity
Canada, and Québec in particular, has quite the reputation in technical death metal; the scene even has its own Wikipedia category. Pronostic is a name that’s existed for a while, but due to relative inactivity haven’t gained the traction of some of their forefathers; with sophomore release Chaotic Upheaval, the Montreal group may go some way to changing that.
The Québec scene has produced quite a few different varieties of tech-death; Cryptopsy delivered ugly brutality, while Gorguts went into very weird places. Quo Vadis took an altogether different approach, exhibiting an appreciation of how well a smart dose of a melody could enhance complex, progressive extremity. Pronostic follow the example of Quo Vadis most closely out of the trio, but if anything they venture even further towards melodic death and progressive death territory, without sacrificing technicality and intensity. A similar melo-tech-death approach went down swimmingly on last year’s Freedom Of Fear release, and Pronostic are even more impressive.
The quartet, comprised of guitarist-vocalist founding duo Alexandre Lauzon and Charles Pilotte, bassist Xavier Sperdouklis (who joined after their 2015 debut An Atomic Decision), and session drummer Samuel Santiago (ex-Gorod, ex-Black Crown Initiate, ex-First Fragment: quite the impressive CV) are joined on this record by a litany of impressive guests, ranging from Fleshgod Apocalypse’s Francesco Ferrini on piano to Cryptopsy’s Chris Donaldson on guest (and also producing). This fierce line-up has come together to produce a tight 40-minute romp, one that starts with aplomb with opener “Indefinite Continuity”, a song with plenty of pounding drumming and frenetic riffing, but also exhilarating piano, exciting melodic guitar soloing, and a surprisingly tender keyboard- and synth-laden conclusion.
This song very much sets the tone for what’s to come; “Massive Disillusion” is frantic, technically impressive and lively, but also has uplifting melody in its riffs, the guitar leads in the chorus (which also has some fun gang shouts in the background), and its gentle proggy midsection, which is also lit up by guest Sam Hampell’s saxophone. This track is perhaps the one that feels closest to pure Gothenburg-style melodeath, albeit with prog-death and tech-death buffs, but it’s perhaps rivalled on that front by the equally exhilarating “The Pure Celestial Being”.
Outside of pure melody, the musical proficiency here is also very ear-catching, whether it be the tapping-heavy intro to “Drained By Remorse”, the extravagant soloing in “L'impureté Globale” (also notable for its bombastic orchestrations in certain moments), or the bright-sounding instrumental “Waves”. Pretty much every song offers at least a moment of delightful extremity, but there’s also a good share of proggy detours, including the fretless bass show-off and dainty keyboards in the opening of “Bare And Wretched”, as well as the groovy bass-driven bridge of “Drained By Remorse”.
I can keep mentioning particularly memorable moments, but really, Chaotic Upheaval has little in the way of obvious standout songs, purely just due to its sheer consistency. This record is a blast front-to-back; if you want your tech-death to be brutal, super-shreddy, or twisted and esoteric, then perhaps this won’t be for you, but for anyone looking to hear melodic extreme metal made with unbridled energy, speed and skill, this is an easy album to recommend.
||Written on 06.06.2023 by Hey chief let's talk why not|
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