Conducting From the Grave - _Conducting From the Grave_
(Independent, 2013)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (7.5 out of 10)
Three years after the release of _Revenants_ (their second and last release on Sumerian Records), Sacramento's Conducting From the Grave have returned with a self-released and self-titled effort. _Conducting From the Grave_ presents a mash up of typical clean and harsh metalcore vocals mixed with some crisp breakdowns. It also has some very melodic sections that scream Scandinavian melodic death metal at the top of its lungs. This quintet from the capital of the most populous American state isn't technically breaking any barriers with this mix of theirs. There are hordes of bands out there that possess the necessary technical abilities to write a metal album that's darn difficult to pull off in a live setting. But this isn't just what Conducting From the Grave are about.

_Conducting From the Grave_ wisely comes to a close after forty-three minutes after shelling out ten tracks of high intensity. This allows the album to stay entertaining after a few listens and not become dull on the ears. Guitar solos fly off in every which way, breakdowns are executed with industrial precision and the drums pound away fervently; all that comes with a very polished and neat production job that allows it all to shine. It may come off as a decent venture that was taken too far on some tracks like that breakdown on the instrumental "The Calm Before...", but there's enough talent to make up for that.

The fluidity of the riffs on the likes of "Lycan" and "The Harvest" are very good examples of the level of musicianship with which this record was written. "Into the Rabbit Hole" features a very brief but catchy clean vocal segment that gives way to a crisp breakdown and some clever vocal variations. More technical mastery comes through the aggressive riffs on "Tyrant" and the arrangements on entertaining opener "Honor Guide Me!". Entertaining is how I would finally summarize this album. It's a breath of fresh air into a genre that's getting exponentially anaerobic as time goes by. Genre debates can go on forever discussing how much of a 'technical' album this is or on which side of the '-core' spectrum does it lie. What is most obvious though, is that this is a very good album that can appeal to fans of melodic death metal and all current -core trends.


(article published 13/10/2013)

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