Limit Zero – Gravestone Constellations
Progressive metal tending towards djent is best experienced on decent headphones, the lack of which has led to a weeklong postponement of this review. Listening to the album multiple times both with and without headphones has been an interesting experience – from initial apprehension to semi-acceptance to a mild appreciation.
Limit Zero has grown from being Shreyas Skandan’s brainchild/bedroom project to a collaboration between a diverse bunch of musicians such as Keshav Dhar(Skyharbor), Sunnieth Revankar(Bhayanak Maut), Siddharth Basrur(Goddess Gagged) and Trevor Marks(Toxic Biohazard Machine). The transformation in sound was fairly evident when I heard ‘Portals’, the first song they released online. There was a lot more of ‘bite’ in the sound, in addition to the TesseracT-like ambiance but with a marked oriental/Indian feel to it. The album begins with ‘Galaxies Bleed’, followed by ‘Time Bending Patterns’, both exhibiting a marked Omnislash(Vildhjarta’s EP)-esque vibe, and the sound unfolds further on ‘Approaching Infinity’ and ‘Within The Beyond’. The ‘spacey’ feel of the album, however, is most evident on ‘Arcturus’, where Basrur and Revankar really take it up a notch, with the clean-distorted duality reflected in the repeating clean guitar melody atop which a thick, down-tuned distorted riff runs nicely. ‘Focus’ makes me think of Polars-era Textures, with the ambient intro and the subsequent riffage that opens with a diminished sounding chord on top of a minor melodic line, making for a very interesting contrast. Siddharth Basrur’s vocals on ‘Pulsar’ make a huge impact in terms of the freshness and vitality of sound, and the album closer ‘Gravestone Constellations’ leaves you with a mild sense of contentment, one at the end of a musical journey.
The songwriting isn’t hugely innovative, but still merits several listens to decipher and appreciate. The mixing and mastering is top notch, though more dynamics in the drums would’ve definitely helped. Overall, definitely one of the better releases in metal this year(Indian or otherwise), and a steady grower. So do listen to it(preferably more than once) and buy it if it appeals to your taste at http://limitzero.bandcamp.com/
Overall score : 7.9/10
P.S – Interesting artwork/logo by Shreyas Skandan and Arun Natarjan.