Construct of Lethe – The Grand Machination (Self-Released)

Wednesday, 28th September 2016
Rating: 8/10

After leaving a very favorable impression with their death metal forward approach to their debut album, Corpsegod, Construct of Lethe quickly return for another helping in 2016. The Grand Machination may only be an EP, but it sees the band continue to move forward in significant bounds – quickly establishing them as a presence within the scene.

Tackling a lofty concept such as Mark Twain’s “Letters from the Earth” and putting a wicked, devil-ish spin on it isn’t an easy task. But Construct of Lethe was up for it, putting an emphasis on making the album work, lyrically, as well as instrumentally. It’s always a point of strength when bands commit to strong storytelling in their music (see Inanimate Existence too), and helps to prove that death metal is more than just about straight brutality. But that’s not all that has changed in a matter of months since Corpsegod. Musically, The Grand Machination doesn’t have that modern vibe that was rather present on their debut. Instead, there’s a helping of Morbid Angel and Immolation in tow – giving them a more timeless approach to their craft and ensuring it sounds even more bleak and evil-sounding. “Lux in Tenebris” starts with an intense, lumbering crawl instead of an explosion but it’s just as gripping. They’ve nailed the dark and heavy guitar tone, and vocalist David Schmidt sounds absolutely menacing from beginning to end. There’s still a time and a place for frantic speed (see “Ascendit Ex Infernos”) but things are more well-rounded, and contain some rather sly melodic undertones (see the title track) and dizzying solos to make sure the listener is well-entertained.

Considering this is the second output from Construct of Lethe this year, it’s clear that the band is well on their way to breaking through the death metal scene. Incorporating a wider swath of influences and soundscapes to their toolbox, The Grand Machination is a blistering death metal attempt that satisfies on both a frenetic and intellectual level.

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