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Melodic death metal? Just a few years ago, this would seem like an impossibility. However, with so many cross-pollinations of metallic styles by the early 21st century, an increasing number of extreme metal bands are embracing conventional and easier-to-digest rock sounds, such as Sculptured. On their 2008 release, Embodiment, the group also adds a healthy helping of tricky prog rock to their sonic stew, making Sculptured one of the few bands that may equally appeal to fans of both Death and Dream Theater. But as evidenced by the album cover art and song titles ("Taking My Body Apart," "Bodies Without Organs"), the group's lyrical content focuses primarily on "surgeon speak". Either way, Embodiment is full of tricky instrumental passages and vocals that alternate between growled and sung. Embodiment is one of those rare metal releases that stands a good chance of breaking through to more than one metal following simultaneously.

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