THE IMAGEST – HABITATS (ALBUM REVIEW)

Before we begin

The imagest is a five piece metal band hailing from Salem, Indiana. Consisting of Chris Floyd on vocals, Eric Troutman on guitar, Chase Ferguson on guitar, Donnie Young on drums, and Robbie Barham on bass. This is LP is the follow up to 2015s EP creations which garnered a lot of local attention. Did this LP live up to expectations? Let’s find out.

Track by Track

Track 1 – Tides 03:10

Tides isn’t your traditional instrumental opener at three minutes and ten seconds long it’s more of a platform for the band to show off rather than an intro. But that isn’t a bad thing in fact it’s kinda impressive. When a bands vocalist doesn’t enter a song until two minutes and eighteen seconds in and the track is still interesting it’s a real testament to the quality of the artist. The track opens with a spacey synth that gradually transforms into a head banging beat. The band changing up sounds and combinations of sounds creates a heavy yet atmospherically creepy sound. Until 2:18 when Chris enters with monstrous vocals that change the sound from creepy to downright scary.

Overall rating – 8.5/10

Track 2 – Solstice 03:00

The track opens with a muffled riff progressively becomes more clear adding in vocals closer to the end of the transition. Until it breaks into a chaotic pit of heaviness. This chaos becomes almost overwhelming until a short lived but soaring guitar restores some semblance of order. This creates a balance leaving you on the edge of sanity. This is soon replaced by crushing guitars that amplify the unrelenting heaviness of this track. It continues this trend of heaviness of the rest of the track. My only complaint would be that the last third of the song feels repetitive and kinda detracts from the sense of chaos previously established.

Overall rating – 8/10

Track 3 – Oleander (ft Chase Robertson) 03:01

This track is one that stands out as particularly amazing. Instrumentally this song is clearly created by msters of their craft who understanding tuning this is especially evident by the positioning and length of the slow down at two minutes. It gives the listener just enough time to gather their thoughts before it shatters them again. And vocally it’s nothing but brutal these are two of the most powerful harsh vocalist in the region and hearing them on the same track is astonishing.

Overall rating – 10/10

Track 4 – Shivelight 03:08

The track opens with a more mellow groovy riff that continues as an undertone throughout the entire track. Creating a contrast yet weird balance to the rest of the song. But just because it has a groovy riff didn’t men that the imagest didn’t bring the brutality that we expect from this band. At around 0:18 the heavy hitting instrumentals and tutored vocals fly into this track perfectly. This track is easily one that couldn’t been a single fantastic.

Overall rating – 10/10

Track 5 – Synnecrosis 03:04

The track opens with the familiar face smashing heaviness that we’ve come to love from this lp. It quickly transfers to an interesting meltdown where the instrumental takes the heaviness up to eleven and the vocals follow suit delivering one of the more brutal moments on this ep. But that’s essentially where this track ends it become rather repetitive and boring. While this track isn’t awful it is overshadowed by the tracks that came before it leaving it feeling mediocre.

Overall rating – 7/10

Track 6 – Habitats 03:31

This track didn’t just catch me by surprise it straight up sneak attacked me. It opens with light guitars creating an airy peaceful mood. That guitar persist throughout the entire song where it is accompanied by some beautiful drums that add a bite to the song. Even the vocals which don’t cone in until halfway through the song sound emotionally torn rather than monstrous like they do on other tracks. But it’s this tracks placement on the lp that makes it even better, it is the best interlude track I’ve ever heard allowing the listener to regain their thoughts before they face the second half of the record.

Overall rating – 10/10

Track 7 – Geohazard 03:10

This is easily the most metal/deathcore track on the ep and surprisingly that’s not a terrible thing. This song does follow the chug chug formula set by bands before them but this song has something more. It has an energy and enthusiasm that is lacking from a lot of bands in this subgenre. We also get to see an outstanding display of low vocal range in this track. With that being said this track is a little one of the mill but stay all the way through for that monstrous ending.

Overall rating – 7/10

Track 8 – Monarch (ft Chad Ruhlig) 02:33

This song is stupidly heavy in all the right ways. It starts with an immediate monstrous howl and this pattern continues throughout this short song. These two stellar vocalist both overdo themselves and deliver a vocal clinic. The song builds to this piano close to the end which adds a creepy element to the song. But sadly the song concludes at two minutes and thirty three seconds, leaving the listener wanting so much more.

Overall rating – 8/10

Track 9 – inflorescence 03:39

This track is a step out of this bands comfort zone and it’s amazing. This song delivers a groovier chiller imagest that we aren’t used to seeing. This song feels much more emotionally vulnerable and like a window into this band. But don’t get me wrong this is still very much an imagest song. The intro is almost reminiscent of older post-hardcore. But is quickly joined by the outstanding harsh vocals that we’ve grown accustomed too. Even the breakdown at a minute twenty feels more emotional and isn’t as punishing as tracks before it. This track is a perfect balance of everything I want and is a really strong contender for favorite track

Overall rating – 10/10

Track 10 – Moonstruck 03:04

This track is my personal biggest let down on the lp. Not that it’s the worst track on it  because it’s not but following a masterpiece like inflorescence I came into this track with really high hopes and it simply didn’t deliver. Well that’s only half of the way true instrumentally this song lived up to everything I wanted groovy but still retaining that Heavy edge. It’s vocally where this song fails for me sonically the vocals are still. Brutal and powerful just like before but rhythmically they feel out of place and awkward. This accompanied by an intro that feels too long this song simply doesn’t do it for me.

Overall rating – 6.5/10

Track 11 – Sequoia 03:19

Now this is what I wanted. This a perfect closer for an outstanding record. It does exactly what a closer should it culminates all the ideas that the imagest expressed in a single track. It possess the groovy collectives of  inflorescence and the bite of oleander. This track makes this lp hole and gives it the feeling of a completed masterpiece.

Overall rating – 10/10

Production

The prediction on this lp has seen a drastic improvement from 2014 creations. Both releases were recorded at Louisville’s own Everest studios. The instruments are crisp the vocals cone through as powerful and not drowned out. This release is a testament to how much the studio itself has grown.

Overall rating – 8.5/10

Artwork

Done by DDUB design the artwork perfectly accompanies this record. The spacey vibe this record gives off pairs perfectly with this image and it’s color scheme.

Overall rating – 9/10

Final thoughts

Overall this is a fantastic release from a great band. It fixes everything that I felt was wrong with creations and more. This record continues Kentucky’s track record for outstanding releases this year.

Final Verdict – 9/10

Favorite Tracks

Inflorescence

Shivelight

Oleander

Least favorite tracks

Moonstruck

Geohazard

Synnecrosis

Bands you may also like

Summits – https://www.facebook.com/summitsbandky/ Lifelines –https://www.facebook.com/theycamebearingarms/

Sylar – https://www.facebook.com/SylarNY/

Links

https://www.facebook.com/TheIMAGEST/

https://open.spotify.com/album/7bM2vTyuVIgHbtJCeS4wVq

https://youtu.be/DI3gEbKx9rothe imagest

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