In the long and ever growing list of technical death metal bands, it can be hard for a new band to stand out. I mean, just looking at the list of albums I have saved to my music on Spotify in the last few weeks you will see bands like Element, Dawn of Azazel, Continuum, Inanimate Existence, and Andsolis. Well friends, we are about to add another name to that list: Eschaton. Founded in 2007 near Providence, Rhode Island, Eschaton is vocalist Jason Viteri, guitarist brothers Joshua and Jared Berry, bassist Pat Pattison and drummer Darren Cesca. They are set to release their debut album, “Sentinel Apocalypse,” via Unique Leader Records on May 19, 2015.
Eschaton comes to us with all the prerequisites: cool name, creepy sci-fi inspired album art, crunchy riffs, precise breaks, noodley solos, a brutal drum sound, and varied low growl/high extreme vocals. After the ominous sound effects fade out, opening track ‘Obligatory Conviction’ gives us all that in spades. With each track after, Eschaton takes a piece of that prerequisite puzzle and puts their own spin on it. ‘Immortal Mutilation’ is a great showcase of drummer Darren Cesca’s (Pillory, Arsis, Goratory, and Incinerate) talent. The man is all over town with his fills and blast beats, so much you are not sure how the rest of the band can keep tempo. ‘Animus’ is a good example of Jason Viteri’s swirling screech/scream/guttural vocals. The delivery is fantastic, but there may be a little something lost in the translation. ‘Intergalactic Annihilation’ is one of the most cohesive moments for the band. The brothers Berry and Pattison’s instruments build layer upon layer of a heavy wall of riffs. The title track closes out the album. It is a summarization of the record, compressing all its good points, and bad points, into one song.
Overall, “Sentinel Apocalypse” is a really good technical death metal album, but it can be a little confusing at times. The constant start/stop/change speed “rhythms” of the songs make it hard to get into in spots. The short songs also can seem like incomplete thoughts. The name of the album does not even match up with the cover or subject matter! “Sentinel Apocalypse” is a term that refers to the era of God’s apocalyptic reign immediately after the end of existence and our world. The three Dr. Manhattan looking dudes do not look very biblical. This may not be the strong debut Eschaton was hoping for, but they definitely have the skills to get noticed on that ever growing list.