When I saw the promo it said “Tech-Death w/ Black Metal, Symphonic, and Neoclassical elements” in the header I was instantly intrigued. Having never heard Symbolik before I didn’t know what level of quality to expect but knowing they were on The Artisan Era I had high hopes it would be high, and that is was. What catches my attention here is the guitarwork especially, it’s so well executed and stands out in a good way. Allen Burton (Inanimate Existence (live) and ex-Alterbeast) is a superb lead guitarist and does some of his finest work on this album, joining him is Damon Koenig who makes the duo very deadly and raises the bar for me on what to expect from this album straight from the opener “Augury of Ancients”. “Invoking Oblivion” is then even better where the solo’s reign supreme and it’s impossible not to get caught up in the vortex. Throughout the album you get a relentless flurry of quality riffs coming towards you that you simply can’t ignore. You would be wise to headbang to this and let yourself go.
While the guitars is definitely the high point for me on this album there is no denying the rest of the band pulls off great stuff too, it mainly seems the guitars have more room to shine (which the case with many technical death metal albums). Chris Blackburn sounds like a mix between Trevor Strnad (The Black Dahlia Murder), Steve Boiser (Inferi, Tethys, Equipoise) and Reece Deeter (Vale of Pnath) and it fits the albums sound like a glove. Emergence is simply an well-written album where all the pieces have got together nicely and everyone plays on their strengths which together makes an excellent album. The band themselves said this has been in development for over eight years, bringing their ideas and inspirations to life through this album. Safe to say you can tell that’s the case, Emergence shines brightly and you can hear this isn’t anything rushed and made with a lot of heart behind it.
In the end there is really nothing bad to say about this album, if you enjoy technical death metal in the veins of Inferi, Vale of Pnath and Alterbeast with a hint of The Black Dahlia Murder then this is one of the best releases you will hear all year.
The Artisan Era