The Ever Living have manufactured an album that scours the vast soundscapes of alternative metal, adding layers of sprawling synths, and crushing, drop-tuned riffs that vortex into one huge epic orchestral cyclone of near biblical proportions. The antediluvian weight and power of this album is cleverly balanced with the high-tech complexities of modern-day electronica
I was lucky enough to review The Ever Living’s single Total Impasse a few weeks back and since then this highly anticipated release has been high on The Smashing Skull Sessions wantlist! So here it is in all its glory, and let me tell you, it goes beyond my expectations. The London duo of Chris Bevan Lee (vocalist, keyboards, programming) and Andrei Alan (guitars, bass, programming) have manufactured an album that scours the vast soundscapes of alternative metal, adding layers of sprawling synths, and crushing, drop-tuned riffs that vortex into one huge epic orchestral cyclone of near biblical proportions. The antediluvian weight and power of this album is cleverly balanced with the high-tech complexities of modern-day electronica. Often harsh and vicious, but always smothered in rich atmospherics, Artificial Devices is a kaleidoscope of modern, alternative metal that perfectly depicts the age we live in.
Omniphorm opens the album with some lush guitars, rich in melody and positivity, with bright keys playing over a vast synthesised skyline. Even when the gritty, coarse vocals break through, it takes nothing away from the mood and feeling of the track. Riffs begin to open themselves up, stretching and flexing their muscle as keyboards continue to wash over everything. Omniphorm is a deeply melodic and sometimes harsh affair with those guitars weighing heavy with venom and purpose.
The industrial vibes on De-Emulate really show The Ever Living’s talent for creating punchy high-tech harmonies that bond tightly with just the right amount of old school bass and guitars. No single element ever smothers the other, it all drives forward in unison, and straight into Circadian March, which is a giant wall of grandiose synths, heavily embellished with some electronic pads and recorded spoken passage. There is a really good flow to the album, with great care and detail given to the track listing. Every song seems to hold its own amidst the eight tracks.
The real force and potency of The Ever Living is found on Total Impasse. That deep and dirty bass line at the beginning has got serious attitude! As I mentioned on my mini review of this track last month, the power and venom of the track is instant and builds towards a tsunami of measured ferocity and synthesised waves. The vocal delivery is both gut-wrenching and severe and breaks against every crash cymbal and tempo change. Well, I stand by that description, and each time I play the track it gets bigger and better.
Tracks like You’ve Come To The Right Place continue the industrial tendencies, leaning heavily on a Ministry crutch, but never needing the second one to help it stand on its own merit. Flourishes of the nineties are awash throughout, and even into the intro of the final track, Take Heed, Take Flight. However, once this song does take flight it soars in mid-tempo thermals with more scowling vocals and deep-set riffs. Drums crash and pummel their way to the finale with the bass again showing its teeth, before the track fades into a synthesised haze, ending a hugely entertaining and unique musical journey.
Guitarist Andrei Alan was quoted as saying "My guitars no longer presented me with ideas, and I was starting to think that perhaps I had said everything that I had to say." Well, this album has clearly shown that The Ever Living have found their voice again, and have written an album that’s fresh, experimental, with a taste of more off it….. and I f#*king love it!