A large part of reviewing records is searching for reasons. Attempting to discover the underlying truths of situation and sacrifice that make each record a unique and revealing document. This analysis is not exclusively focused on music and lyrics; geography and opportunity also figure greatly in this search; this excavation for the mortar from the wall of motivation.
My thoughts were projected in this particular direction by the combination of the abject TDM insanity that Evil Conscience have produced and the fact that they are from India.
They shift powerfully and presciently between styles. One moment displaying the kind of gilded grace one expects from tap masters Gorod, the next they have transmuted their venom into the remorseless savagery you look to Psycroptic for. But the cross pollination of styles and substance does not stop there. There are complex, elongated breakdowns whose venomous application suggest both a familiarity and affection for Deathcore which would dominate the output of lesser musical minds.
Because when all opinion about this record is distilled down to its active essence, it is the brutally eloquent arrangements that shine through all the verbiage and hyperbole to speak for themselves. The playing, naturally need (and is) of a high level to execute them proficiently. But it is the framework, from which the skill is hung, that is the real star.
To some it may feel derivative but for me it is a work of superb assemblage. Like they have taken the most brutal, charming, technical, joyous, savage, emotional (etc.) parts from their favourite songs and joined them together with significant skill. Much like a patchwork quilt; someone else may have woven the fabric, but You selected the pieces and You stitched it together and its your work and purpose domination that made it come alive.
In many ways they remind me of Nexilva, in their ability to span the TDM/DC/TM divide whilst retaining direction through the freshness and spontaneity of the arrangements.
EC deal in long songs, in which they manage to maintain a formidable level of excitement by defying expectation and challenging the listener.
The guitars are applied with noticeable breadth of style; from a traditional DM crunch, through heavily palm-muted sections, out to more lissom, progressive projections. The drumming is technical and precise without losing the essential humanity required for the transmission of exquisite destruction. Vocally, Arunava careens from a full chested roar to a clenched black metal rasp, without forgetting to pitch his tent for a night or two in Bree-town. His array of techniques is formidable and deserves applause for its no-holds-barred, larynx frying approach.
The production of metal in India interests me greatly and I believe that with this EP, Evil Conscience have reached the apogee of the First Age of Indian Metal. There are several reasons that they have managed to craft such a compelling EP. Their excellent musicianship aside, the fact that as Indians they operate outside of the well trod path of US/Euro scenic pre-conceptions, allows them to create material that glows with a freshness it is impossible to fake.
Much like Skyharbor do with progressive metal, EC look upon the tropes of a genre as an everlasting set of Lego, to be formed and re-set in the style that is most pleasing to them. And by setting out to only please themselves they have made something that should make them a lot of fans.
– John Whitmore