The Room Colored Charlatan


Written by: PP on 11/12/2014 23:46:29

Futuristic progressive metal. Space metal. Progressive technical metalcore. Ambient progressive metal. Yes, The Room Colored Charlatan from Indianapolis can be described with a multitude of terms that make non genre specialists rage over what the point is, yet we can agree on one fundamental thing: their debut album "Primitives" is a masterpiece of technically proficient, crushing progressive metal at its finest. And rest assured we're not talking about aimless guitar wankery a la Dream Theater rather than the precision guided, atmospheric and infinitely challenging metalcore variation of the genre best heard on records by Between The Buried And Me, The Contortionist, and A Hero A Fake.

"Primitives" is rammed with insanely technical passages that embellish brilliant fretwork with the addition of chilling ambiance that makes the listener feel like they are floating somewhere amidst planets in an immersive science fiction movie. Whilst the thick growls aren't necessarily anything special to write home about, they are nonetheless powerful and memorable, and complement the awe-inspiring instrumental sections well. "Instinct" is an example of brutal instrumentation that morphs into a mesmerizingly beautiful passage when the guitars are let loose BTBAM style (think along the lines of the solo on "Selkies: The Endless Obsession" on "Alaska"). Likewise, "Apex Predator" opens with intricate instrumentation that alone is enough to convince most fans of technical metal to give the rest of "Primitives" a thorough listen or a dozen.

The latter song is also exemplary of the unconventional time signatures used throughout the record which are best described as totally warped. The vocals are often following an entirely different rhythm than the guitars; the drums follow their own percussive patterns that seem to shift in tempo from bar to bar, further adding to the intrigue that surrounds the music on "Primitives". Forget about 4/4, this record feels more like 23/35 or something equally weird given how none of the elements appear to be in sync at all with each other. And herein lies the beauty of "Primitives": despite the apparent chaos and disorienting arrangement of the instrumentals individually, it works brilliantly when they are put together. Not only do they create that futuristic, space-like ambiance I mentioned earlier, but also encompass the album in intrigue and superior songwriting. Most bands when attempting something similar end up sounding stupid or copy/paste in the process. Here, The Room Colored Charlatan come across as an exceptionally intelligent band with back-chilling melodies that, despite the overall brutality of the record, blow your mind with their intrinsic beauty.

Download: Apex Predator, Instinct, Primitives,
For the fans of: The Contortionist, Between The Buried And Me, A Hero A Fake, Born Of Osiris
Listen: Facebook

Release date 20.05.2014

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