With six albums into their career, California’s progressive/technical death metal band Inanimate Existence has quite made the impression and name for themselves ever since being introduced to their sophomore recording of A Never-Ending Cycle of Atonement which was the record that instantly made me a fan and have enjoyed every material they’ve released. The Masquerade is the latest studio offering and the follow-up to 2019’s Clockwork which was a album that met with such great expectations and the soundscapes, songwriting and maturation from the band was superb front to back. This record is also the third recording being released through The Artisan Era which is a fantastic label specializing in technical and progressive death metal which to me Inanimate Existence fits perfectly with them since their sound, progressiveness and detail have gotten better with each release.
Eight songs and clocking in just 39 minutes in length, this album combines Inanimate’s philosophical and metaphysical lyricism with the instrumentals containing such outstanding compositional leads and a atmosphere so perfectly balanced it dives the listener into a world filled with imaginations, artistic and stylistic formulas of organic musicality and atmospherically this album reflects the finest landscapes possible. Tracks such as Return To The Dream, Ending The Ritual and Into The Underworld the members have done such a remarkable job balancing progressive, technical and atmospheric passages into the strongest and well presented albums this band has done to date. There’s moments of naturalistic, theoretical and aggressive melodies from the high, low and drenched screams from the singing which not only engages the songs to be innovative but rather combine a style so adventurous, sometimes it’s rather difficult to explain the album’s true meaning.
There’s elements being borrowed from Fallujah and Artificial Brain and heaviness from Rivers of Nihil with very consistent songwriting and ambition so fully memorizing which makes this record pummeling and mystifying at times. There’s emotion, aggressiveness, maturity and atmosphere written all over the finest lines from this Californian extreme metal outfit and shows technical/progressive death metal not over rely on wankery but to capture a breathtaking experience is what the album represents. The Masquerade is another great addition to add in the Inanimate Existence’s embodiment of work and a return to form making this a album of the year contender slot for 2022.
Overall Score: 9.0/10
Review by Jake Butler