Album Review: Protosequence – A Blunt Description of Something Obscene 9.5 (Tech Death)

Written by Alex

  • Protosequence
  • A Blunt Description of Something Obscene
  • Technical Death Metal
  • Canada
  • Lacerated Enemy Records
  • May 19, 2020
  • 9.5/10

Protosequence are from Edmonton, Alberta which isn’t that far from me and it’s a city that I sometimes travel to for shows and such. I’ve seen these guys live a few time and they’re insane. The west coast of Canadian has a slurry of great tech death bands like The Hallowed Catharsis, Widows Peak, and Archspire. But even with a local scene packed full of great metal bands, Protosequence have always stood out to me. I mean, hell, even my mom thinks this band rips. I think that says a lot about how good they are, in a funny way. When shows start happening again, I’ll be very excited to catch the band playing these tracks in some sketchy dive bar.

Let’s get into the actual review then. I have to say right off the bat, this record is excellent and by far the band’s best effort yet. The music is more dynamic and versatile than ever before and it’s also tighter and more refined. It’s very obvious that all the members took their time to work on their craft while writing this album. The record is thoughtful and well written throughout its entire runtime. Every note has its place and purpose, which is something I can’t say about a lot of modern tech death bands. I find there to be a lot of excess technicality in the genre, like bands are just playing complicated music to show that they can instead of it having some meaning. This record doesn’t suffer from that at all, largely due to a strong prevailing sense of melody that runs throughout.

The record has a tangible groove to it that a lot of bands in this area of metal tend to neglect. It’s because of this that the record flows so well and is so addictive. There’s no question that these guys can play, nobody is going to debate that, so I appreciate how they dialed it all in a little bit and gave us a little more melody.

As I mentioned earlier, the songs are all multifaceted. The 2nd track starts out with a stripped back guitar section and some clean singing before switching it up and going full tech again. After the banger that the first track is, this small pretty sounding section comes as a big curveball that’s executed flawlessly. This variety of the music carries over to the vocal performance as well. There is everything from sounds that would be at home on a Devourment record to high pitched shriek that sound heavily black metal influenced. Speaking of black metal influence, there are a few well-placed sections where the guitars take on an icy sound that you rarely hear on a death metal record.

I’ve also got to give a huge nod to the drum work. It’s the really highlight of this record for me. It’s what really drives this record. The production is wonderfully done as well. Everything is almost exactly how I want it. The issues I have with this record are incredibly minor. I would have liked a little more punchiness with the bass in the mix. I also think that the high shriek could have been utilized a little bit more throughout to balance all the other vocals. With those exceptions though, this record is phenomenal. I also really like the inclusion of the instrumental versions of the tracks. They bring it full circle at the end with another stripped down guitar section that gives the album a really clean and satisfying ending.

I’m a huge fan of all the great bands we have on the Canadian west coast and Protosequence are absolutely one of the best we have to offer, they have proved that with this stellar album.

9.5

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