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Lascaille's Shroud - The Abscinded Universe CD (album) cover

THE ABSCINDED UNIVERSE

Lascaille's Shroud

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

2.92 | 5 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Interval 02: Parallel Infinities - The Abscinded Universe" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US progressive death metal act Lascaille's Shroud. The album was released through Masters of Metal Productions in January 2014. Lascaille's Shroud is a one-man project act featuring Brett Windnagle who handles guitars, bass, drums (programmed), keyboards and vocals. He is helped out by a host of guest vocalists and Tyler Sherrill who plays keyboard solos, but otherwise this is a solo album in the true sense of the word. Lascaille's Shroud has existed for a couple of years and already have quite a few minor releases and the "Interval 01: Parallel Infinities - The Inner Universe (2013)" debut album on the street. In keeping with the release method for previous releases "Interval 02: Parallel Infinities - The Abscinded Universe" is offered as a digital "Name Your Price" download on the artist's Bandcamp profile.

While "Interval 01: Parallel Infinities - The Inner Universe (2013)" was a long album featuring long tracks, "Interval 02: Parallel Infinities - The Abscinded Universe" takes that concept even further. With it's approximately 2 hours playing time it's safe to say that it's a massive release by Lascaille's Shroud. Out of the 10 tracks on the album there are several that exceed the 10 minutes mark and two ther exceed the 20 minutes mark. While that's a lot to take in if you opt to listen to the album in one run, there is good variation to be found on the album and the entertainment level seldom drops during the album's playing time.

The material are generally well performed and for the most part well written (there are too many unremarkable filler riffs and sections, but when Lascaille's Shroud shine, they shine brightly). Stylistically the music is sci-fi themed progressive death metal, featuring complex song structures and a generally adventurous approach to writing music. The vocals are predominantly intelligible growling and more snarling type growling, but some of the guest vocalists perform raw thrash type male vocals, clean male vocals, and clean female vocals too. Keyboards/synths are still a major part of the soundscape, although I generally think they are toned down a bit compared to how they sounded on the predecessor.

I had an issue with the programmed drums and the sound production on "Interval 01: Parallel Infinities - The Inner Universe (2013)" and unfortunately I have the same issue regarding "Interval 02: Parallel Infinities - The Abscinded Universe". Some drum parts actually work pretty well, which is especially true when the guitar plays tremolo picked riffs. That's when you can nearly forget, that the drums are programmed, but as soon as the pace is lowered or even worse when more rythmic thrashy riffing is introduced, it becomes apparent, in the bad way, that the drums are programmed. Some of those parts sound downright amaturish. There are some parts where I have a feeling that the guitars/bass and the drums are out of synch and as a consequence those parts sound untight. It's pretty odd when it happens, because as mentioned above the material are generally well played/sung.

The sound production is slightly more dark than the case was on the predecessor, which is a plus in my book, but unfortunately the issue regarding the dynamics of the production hasn't been solved. As a consequence the mix sounds a bit flat and undefined. Everything sounds like it's delivered on the same volume all the way through the album and it makes for a somewhat unengaging listen. There is no doubt that a producer who could guide, create a dynamic mix, and cut some of the filler sections, could work wonders. Add to that a human drummer and Lascaille's Shroud would be among the most interesting progressive death metal acts out there. As it is now I am stretching with a 3.5 star (70%) rating, but I do feel that the band's adventurous songwriting approach should be rewarded, and while my criticism may seem hard, it hopefully doesn't completely disguise the fact that I actually appreciate a lot of what I hear on "Interval 02: Parallel Infinities - The Abscinded Universe". The issues need to be adressed though for the project to move on to the next stage.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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