Reflections created major hype around the release of their sophomore album “Exi(s)t” this year. After the stunning results achieved with the memorable mindtrip that was their debut album “The Fantasy Effect”, they had a lot to follow. The good news is that “Exi(s)t” definetly lives up to our finest expectations.
The first track “Exit” immediately proves that this album has everything you wanted to hear from it. Bringing irresistible and hard-hitting breakdowns, a sick guitar tone, massive grooves, break neck technicality, and the heaviest ending you might have ever witnessed. Shit seriously gets started with track 2 “Delirium”. The guitar work gets really insane, proving a more mature approach and giving space to some mathcore hints.
Two tracks are enough to realize what gives this album something more than the debut. First off, it packs way more enjoyable production. The production manages to keep faithful to the original sound appreciated in “The Fantasy Effect”, but makes it way cleaner and less hyper compressed.
From tracks three and four, the huge steps made by the band in such a short time become unquestionable. These are two of the best songs on the album. “Vain Words From Empty Minds” (personal favourite here) is a daaaamn groovy song, with yelling guitar notes and djenty riffage to boot. Crazy stuff! Their vocalist has improved as well, sounding more agile and aware of his potential while attempting new paths and techniques. This includes clean singing and pitched yells. “Bridges”, the second single taken from the album, features a perfect balance between insane mathcore attacks and djenty grooves.
“Lost Pages” starts as a standard heavy song of theirs, but turns into an atmospherically driven serenade in the middle section with the help of clean female vocals. When the violence kicks in again you’ll hear the best guitar solo on the album, making this one of the most touching and memorable moments on the record. Chances are many of you heard the single “My Cancer”. It packs well-conceived lyrics, another amazing guitar solo, and overall intense songwriting, compressing all kinds of epicness in less than 3 minutes.
“Candle” is another remarkable episode, bringing in sick riffage and intresting vocal experimentation. Some melody and another insane guitar solo take place in “This House”, while “Stories Through The Storms” is possibly the djentiest song of the album. The final track “Exist” features some instrumental heaviness in the first half. The second half unleashes the apex of this album’s insanity, leading us to the end of this new mindtrip.
Their heads must be about to explode from the amount of good ideas streaming out. It seems like they tried to cram all those ideas into this album. And it also seems like there’s much more where that came from. Unfortunately it sounds like they had the rush and put all those good ideas into this full LP as quickly as possible, without giving themselves the time to properly delve into each one. The excessive rush is possibly the only real flaw with this album. It boils down to a load of good ideas and creativity mixed into a really good album, but thrown out with an excessive rush and backing enthusiasm. The result is that the songs are actually quite impressive but (just like in “The Fantasy Effect”) only a few of them manage to get stuck in your head as solid and recognizable installments.
Regardless, the album is stunning. It brings everything we expected to hear from Reflections’ sophomore release – better production (and promotion) and a more mature approach to their brand of heavy music. I’m sure this band will leave us all speechless whenever the third album strikes. They simply need to give themselves enough time to manage all of their great ideas. Then they can let their creativity and talent express their full potential.