Stuttgart purveyors of sophisticated, if straightforward, metal serve up a sophomore album to make good on their debut’s promise.
It’s easy to disappear with a name like this but the German quintet behind it are too clever to be a fleeting act, and their second record shows the guys have come here for a long haul. Obviously a concept album with a “make-believe” theme running through and coming to the surface in the “Slipstream” – whose parts, each anthemic in various ways, are scattered across classic metal tropes – “The Insanity Abstract” is very much focused on delivering its message. Once a riff of “The Pale King” cuts into the listener’s psyche, they’re on the way to the point no return until the epic time signatures carry “When The Mind Burns” into a clanging, angry eternity where rhythms is provided by a typewriter keys.
There’s also a prog-rock layer to the proceedings to lead pieces such as the reasonably bombastic “Somewhere Along The Line” or piano-propelled “We Become What We Are” beyond regular balladry and take it all further to philosophical orbit. Still, it’s difficult to ignore the call of “Follow” where Ralf Nopper’s cymbals spice up Daniele Dei Giudici’s bass before vocal harmonies unfold an infectious chorus, while the expansive “Lilith Cries” is where Bastian Rose’s voice is able to stage the most impressive spectacle. His ivories paint a solid background for Philipp Schönle and Thomas Rösch’s guitars to lay thick, if intricate, lines on; as a result, heavy yet finely textured, these pieces deal in tension and release but their command of a melody never wavers.
Vanishing is not an option, then, when the guys are going from strength to strength.