Archivist Reviews, 09
Artist: Protosequence (Canada)
Album: Biophagous (EP, 2017, Independent)
You know it's about to get proggy when your album cover looks like the freaking concept art for Mass Effect: Andromeda.
Mediocre video game references aside,
technical, progressive deathcore is probably the best way to summarize Protosequence's breed of wizardry. The Albertan quintet bounces around the periodic table with shifting time signatures, graceful lead melodies placed over djent-influenced rhythms and ripping drums that simply define what an ass-whooping sounds like (I can't overstate this enough).
The band seems to be interested in only expanding their musical horizons, as their previous effort "Schizophrene" (2016), while a solid debut, lacks the sonic variety of "Biophagous", & simply feels forgettable in comparison.
The EP gets off to an outrageously good start with "Parasitic," a winding five minute assault that quickly checks off its genre to-do list (meaning: chugs & fancy guitar sweeps) before shifting gears with a piano piece introduced in the bridge, just when you begin to think you've got a clear hold on it.
The immediate follow-up, "DFL," tricks you into a calm state of mind with a quiet intro (which Protosequence seem to enjoy doing) before thrusting into maximum-overdrive and all-out djent-y spasms.
"Shepherd" features more clean parts than any other song, & crosses them with bits of more traditional deathcore very well before the EP closes with "The Hate Subsides," an almost anthemic prog/techdeath attack on the senses.
Whether or not the EP, which comes in at under 20 minutes, rises above the high standard set by the opening track is debatable, but what's not is that this band is already making more interesting deathcore than about half of the signed names out there. I'd personally love to see them take the clean bits even further down the line & bring some relentless 10 minute songwriting to the table, but until that day comes, what they're doing now is awesome too.
With more push & proper backing from a label, I wouldn't be surprised to hear a full length soon, & would be less surprised to hear it kick ass.