Advent of Bedlam has mastered the art of balance on their upcoming third LP Human Portal Phenomenon, streaming below. With an album title like that, it comes as no surprise that the band plays technical and often progressive death metal. All music in that style exists on a metaphorical see-saw between excess and minimalism. When a band tips too far into excess—often that just means a lot of noodling, but increasingly going all out in the studio will sink an album, or have people saying you record your music at half speed…—the whole thing falls apart. On the other hand, too little flamboyance and it just sort-of stops being technical or progressive.
Sounds confusing? Don’t overthink it. That’s probably the trick to doing it right, anyway. It certainly sounds like Advent of Bedlam are operating more on feel than calculation. It doesn’t hurt that on Human Portal Phenomenon they display a healthy grasp of melody. Sure there’s atonal Immolation-ish skronking, but there’s also captivating runs on guitar and bass. It’s not unlike the sort of thing Decrepit Birth is so good at, just with a relatively clean and uncompressed production job. Honestly, people are going to talk about this record because Advent of Bedlam is from Costa Rica, but the story here isn’t about some dudes from a country Americans don’t think about shredding, it’s about the power of good sensibility.
Human Portal Phenomenon is available on May 4 from Horror Pain Gore Death Productions. Pre-order it here.