Like sand under the weight of an encroaching tide, the meaning of progression and progressiveness within metal is constantly shifting. So sometimes it becomes healthy and beneficial for a band to down-shift away from the razors edge of technical precision and revel in an enhanced sense of song writing, embracing a more human approach to their craft.
This is No Consequence’s third album and in my opinion, is their most successful and endearing one thus far. They have managed to create a record which fuses their propulsive and muscular style to a aura of cardiac intensity. It is this sensation of blood pumping, heart rending reality, somewhat absent on previous efforts, which makes Vimana worthy of absolute and unequivocal recommendation.
The rigid staccato passages of old are still here but this time they have granted themselves freedom from the slave-driving Midi master. This emancipation has added incalculable depth and strength to their riffs and beats. Where once strict guitar parts would appear shift cadence in the ear of the listener, such was their metronomic dedication to quantised composition, now the intent of each is unmistakable and unwavering in its impact.
It is not only the guitar that has benefited from their more traditional approach. Drummer Colin Bentham has found a new joi d’vie behind his kit. Allowing a gorgeous and searingly heavy marriage between his love of Death Metal and the pendulous groovy Tech Metal which is the stock in trade of No Consequence. Now, I don’t mean that He has filled Vimana with blast beats or heel-toe bass drum runs, but rather that his fills and the thinking behind them have developed a vital sense of teasing anticipation; a quality essential for launching into huge, unmitigated choruses.
The vocals of Kaan Tasan have also taken a giant leap forward in their facile complexity. The stentorian barks are still extant, but they have been developed and modulated by a singing voice of surprising richness. This expansion of function has also meant a lissom and attractive approach to form. Some moments he sounds like a more muscular Michael Lessard, but never loses the distinctive sharpness to his tone; an aural ultimatum, if ever there was one, to listen…or else.
It is as though with this record No Consequence have managed to replace their muscles, tendons and ligaments while retaining the same outer skin. And this new physiology suits them so much better than did their old. A physiology, moreover, that has allowed them to create what I would nominate as their first mature release; that having paid dues and worked through acres of youthful bombast they are now able to satisfy themselves through their own creative instincts. By disconnecting from the machine and pushing their natural talents forward, they have managed to mix subtlety with power and anger with intelligence, creating achingly heavy yet seriously catchy music.
In short Vimana fulfils the best of ambitious, album to album clichés; the heavy sections are more robust and crushing in their structure; while the melodic parts soar on thermals previously undetected by No Consequence. Proving that regardless of how much you strive to progress and be at the forefront of musical innovation, your greatest hope of making effecting, effective, effusive music comes from simply being true to yourself.
– John Whitmore