Enter the Collateral Dimension: A Coexistence Album Review
Italy: a beautiful country rich in culture, cuisine, and ironically some of the most intense, near-offensively brutal death metal to hit our ear holes and warm our thick metallic blood. Hour of Penance, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Hideous Divinity, Vomit the Soul, all of which have put Italy on the map as a hot-spot for extreme hyper-blasting ferocity. Underneath the blast-beat shrapnel, one can find a more progressive creature going with its own flow within the ether. That creature is progressive death-metallers: Coexistence.
Recorded at the famous 16th Cellar Studios, Coexistence brings the world ‘Collateral Dimension.’ A cosmic journey through a heavy, groove-laden atmosphere sure to leave the listener floating free in its embrace. The musical approach, much like that of the band’s EP ‘Contact With the Entity, can be described as heavily Beyond Creation influenced with a slightly more driven focus on the low end in comparison. Expect plenty of pretty tap riffs!
As was previously mentioned the sound can be best described as Beyond Creation worship comprised mostly of arpeggiated chord riffs and tapping sections accompanied by entrancing fretless bass lines. Though familiar auditorily, this shouldn’t prevent the listener from having an enjoyable experience by any means. Songs like Metaphysical Essence, Detach From the Abyss, and the title track still warrant appreciation for the performance and songwriting. Eclipse admittedly strikes me as possibly too repetitive but entrancing nonetheless. Some songs do stand out in how the band approaches the various clean sections. The track Revert for example gave off an almost Holdsworth-esque, fusion vibe. Certainly a definitive takeaway if nothing that makes it stand out just a bit more.
Mixing, mastering, and drum tracking was entrusted to engineer maestro and owner of the famous 16th Cellar Studios Stefano Morabito, whose work includes Devangelic’s new record Ersetu, Decrepit Birth’s Axis Mundi, and every Fleshgod Apocalypse release before Veleno. Marabito presents a less is more type of approach to allow each instrument to sing more clearly. Bass and guitars are clear and precise, nothing overwhelms the other. Each sitting well in their own space in the mix. Drums are clean and raw, not a sample to be heard minus the drum triggers. The snare is tight and cuts through well although some blast sections could be hit just a bit harder as the snare can be too enveloped by the hi-hat in some instances. Vocals also sit well on top of everything.
The album, as far as what it was intended to be, was accomplished well. Encapsulating a spacey atmosphere to carry the listener through a dimensional trip. Coexistence prove they can pull off the atmospheric progressive death metal sound effectively and confidently. If you find enjoyment out of any Beyond Creation record you’ll absolutely love Collateral Dimension. My only personal ‘concern’ is whether or not the band will be able to branch out from an already familiar sound in the future to make something entirely their own. This thought, of course, does more to perpetuate the growing curiosity of what else these talented gentlemen have to offer.
Overall I would leave this album with a fair 8/10. The title track reigns true as my favorite of the track listing. Be sure to follow Coexistence for updates and more! Links provided below!