Epoch of Unlight

The Continuum Hypothesis

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Epoch of Unlight have never been the most prolific of bands, often going as many as four years between albums, but when they do release something, it's almost never anything short of excellent. Cue 2005's stunning The Continuum Hypothesis, which, though only the third full album to emerge during their decade-plus existence, was actually recorded in barely a week, late the previous year. This apparent disparity also applies to the band's instantly recognizable style, which marries inexorable power with no small amount of finesse, matches fluid songwriting with amazingly complex arrangements, and contrasts quite deep and esoteric lyrics (at times impenetrably so) with a retrograde but never less than beautifully performed high-speed thrash/death/black metal assault. Crystal-clear instrument and vocal separation -- long an EoU trademark -- is a key contributor to the above, meaning that, where many extreme bands leave listeners grasping for clues in a muddled crush of sound, here one can appreciate every single guitar lick, bass thump, and drumbeat. Heck, even B.J. Cook's spitted, black metal-styled delivery is surprisingly discernible within the mix, helping to make immediate highlights out of the most challenging of tracks, notably "Under Starside Skies," "Highgate," and "Aberrant Shadows." And even though he's clearly outdone himself here in terms of compositional ambition, drummer and creative force Tino Losicco also submits a couple of simpler thrashers ("Cardinality" and "Denubrum" -- reminiscent of his band's early days) for good measure. All told, there's no sign of weakness to be found on The Continuum Hypothesis, an album that arguably represents Epoch of Unlight's crowning achievement thus far in their career.

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