Not everything is built to last. No matter how good something might be. That definitely is the case with bands as they can be volatile machines, and despite how good the music might be, that doesn’t mean that the artistic life will last forever. It was actually when it came to writing this story that I learned progressive death metal band Vex is no more, and that left me quite sad.
The good news is from the ashes of Vex was born Aduanten, a band that combines members of groups such as Obsequiae and Ruins of Honor and adds special guests along the way from members who played with Panopticon and Horrendous. Their debut EP “Sullen Cadence” is the first taste we get from these former Vex members, and the four tracks here are absolute pounders, a bit of a pick me up for anyone like me who is sad that Vex is no more. The core of the band—guitarist Ciaran McCloskey, guitarist/synth player Michael Day, drummer/synth player Eoghan McCloskey—are joined by a host of collaborators including Tanner Anderson and Damian Herring on vocals, Joel Miller on bass, and Adrian Benavides on synth and percussion, and every person involved is responsible for making this the aggressive, punishing experience that it is. And this is just their start!
“The Drowning Tide” rips the thing open with Anderson’s shrieks raining down, and melodic menace flows out of every corner. The chorus is strong and pummels your chest, the emotion wells up, and a break-neck change heads into sludge before things go clean and wash away. The title track is spacious when it begins with hand drumming rumbling and the bass slinking. Voices enter the mix and hypnotize as a moody surge strikes, and then all hell breaks loose. The vocals slash as fluid crushing pushes its way in, and then the playing gets more abrasive, your head feels like it’s flooding, and everything turns to ice water before draining into the fog. “The Corpses of Sum” has the bass plodding and the sounds rising while the shrieks tear away flesh. Things get manic as the pace gets burly, the vocals chew at bone, and then strangeness spreads and sickens. The intensity builds, things speed up, and everything ends engulfed in flames. “Palace of Ruin” closes things and starts with a heavy buzz and then brief solemnity that’s shredded by Anderson’s shrieks. The music bubbles over as the heat causes the lid to pop and punches to be thrown. The atmosphere increases as great lead work burns through, desperate shrieks hammer, and everything comes to a head and is washed away.
As sad as I am to see Vex no longer a member of metal’s living, Aduanten’s potential is vast, and these four tracks on “Sullen Cadence” certainly hint at a massive, promising future. The playing is nasty and spacious, and every part of it is exciting and punishing. This is a pretty damn raucous display, an EP that serves as a warning that their most vicious days are left to come, so it’s time to grow some callouses so you can withstand the beating.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/Aduanten
To buy the album, go here: https://aduanten.bandcamp.com/album/sullen-cadence