Hannes Grossman – The Radial Covenant (2014 SPOTLIGHT) – This guy’s had stints in bands like Obscura, Necrophagist and Blotted Science, so there’s really no doubting his talent given massive credentials like that. This record marks the debut of his solo work however, where he shows the world that he’s a fucking musical genius and can play the guitar just as well as he can belt out harsh and clean vocals. Ihashn, you may have some competition in this man who came out of the wall and proved that he could smoke them all, with this incredible masterpiece that I don’t think any of us saw coming. I mean, there’s really no way I can describe something so massive complex in a few sentences, which is all the more reason to get it yourself and hear such textured and unimaginable soundscapes as I’m witnessing here. It’s definitely a mix of melodic death metal with a blackened tinge and a heavily technical, yet overly melodic angel that makes me want to just stop reviewing albums altogether tonight and give it a full listen. There are a few over-used prog riffs that appear on several normally instrumental releases, but I’ll step aside from that and focus on the piece as a whole which delivers as well as melodic death metal did in its golden years. I know At The Gates is coming out with a new album, but can they really stand up to something like this? This record will gnaw your face off and expand your consciousness at the same time. It’s imperative that you pick it up. One of 2014’s best albums, for sure! I highly recommend it. And when those keyboards come in on “The Voyager 5:47” well… that’s a major selling point for me. Sometimes even other musicians sit back and watch masters like this go to work and with The Radial Covenant; I simply shut my mouth and find my seat with the rest of the audience of accomplished musicians who also can’t believe the godlike talent offered here. How in the living hell will he ever top this?
(7 Tracks, 44:00)