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Negativa - Negativa CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.13 | 7 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'Negativa' - Negativa (8/10)

As a reviewer, I should admit to the bias that I am a huge Gorguts fan. Not only is "Obscura" one of my favourite albums ever, but I also consider it to be the artistic pinnacle of the entire death metal realm, much in the same way as I feel Deathspell Omega's "Fas..." record reflects the potential of black metal. As a result, hearing that Negativa's sound was a continuation of Gorguts' more left-field style was more than enough reason to get excited about them. There were plans that the band was going to take a direction of its own, but things sadly never progressed that far. As it stands, Negativa and their self-titled EP stands as an extension of Gorguts' avant-garde take on death metal, an 'expansion pack'- if you will- to what Gorguts had already done. While it's certainly not the same degree of mind- blowing intensity that I first heard on "Obscura", Negativa bring an otherworldly sense of atmosphere to their strange brand of dissonance.

Compared to "Obscura" and "From Wisdom to Hate", Negativa take a sludgier approach, without necessarily treading into sludge metal territory. "Chaos in Motion" starts the EP off on its strongest note- a mind-bending collage of technical fury, dissonant feedback, and Luc Lemay's ever-haunting howl-growls. The production is raw and down-to-earth, but the furious musical tightness more than makes up for the occasional distortion buzz. With the trademark dissonant riffing and Lemay's distinctive vocal style, Negativa could sound a little close to the proper Gorguts to be considered something independent. Particularly on "Chaos in Motion", it sounds like it could have been a polished demo for something that could have possibly been heard on one of Gorguts' last two records. Fortunately, Negativa etches out more of a unique niche on the EP's centerpiece, "Tedium Vitae".

There are times on this nine minute stretch of dark atmosphere where one might think they're listening to some sort of abrasive doom that Esoteric cooked up. In fact, some extended passages here are devoted to a more downtempo heaviness- quite the far cry from the technical onslaught on Gorguts' albums. On top of the progressive tech-death, Negativa takes the dissonance to new heights with segments I might only describe as chaotic noise. Feedback and distortion are used to make some fairly painful sounds. Although it's certainly in keeping with the dark, dreary atmosphere, these 'guitar experiments' get a bit overdrawn, particularly towards the end.

I may have been left with an even greater impression had Negativa gone for a different approach than its parent band, but there are no disappointments here. Negativa bring the chaotic, fearful avant-death sound many listeners will already be familiar with, but- as the saying goes- 'if it ain't broke...'

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |


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