Samskaras – Lithification (Self-Released)

Wednesday, 24th October 2018
Rating: 8.5/10

Always a tough thing to straddle the lines between technical material and something that provides just a strong of an experience for the ‘common fan.’ However, it seems many Canadian acts seem to grasp it pretty well most of the time, and Samskaras is no exception. The two piece of multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Eric Burnet and drummer Alex Dupras have a razor sharp vision that makes a strong showing on their latest EP, Lithification.

Of course, Lithification isn’t as completely straight-forward in its execution. The blend of technical and progressive death metal also benefits from a shot of black metal dissonance to push the boundaries. The result is something intense and intricate, but not without its fair share of immediate catchiness to the structure. Any of the four tracks present have the frenetic energy of their Canadian tech brethren, as quickly evidenced in the opener “Reconciliation.” Explosive bursts provide plenty of charge, but they feel focused and deliberate due to some slower moments (such as the fantastic beginning), where some atmosphere and melody build up. It’s a similar approach that continues with the other three tracks to varying degrees, with an excellent balance of melodic grooves, some acoustic stuff (“As Warriors”), clean-ish vocals (“Alignment”), and some ripping heaviness (“A Deux Mains”). It’s all rounded out by a solid production as well, which embraces a modern tone without forgetting this is a death metal album after all.

A nice companion to their previous EP, Lithification is high-quality progressive/technical death metal that isn’t afraid to rub shoulders with some melody. It’s all very well-polished and aggressive material – the type of thing that should open some further doorways for them as they continue onwards.

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