Independent progressive metal outfit Exist Immortal has been making its own course in the metal community since the release of its 2014 album, Dream Sequence. In the time since the album’s release, the band has gone on to release two more albums, one EP, and a handful of singles largely on its own. Now Friday, the band takes another step forward in its life with the release of its second EP (the band’s fifth studio recording), Act II: Gold. The record has already produced one single, ‘Come Alive.’ Its video has received more than 6,600 views since its premiere last month. The EP’s latest single, its title track, is set to debut Wednesday through knotfest.com. The second release in the band’s EP trilogy, Act II: Gold continues the band’s musical exploration of navigating internal struggles, which was started in 2020 with Gold’s predecessor, Rebirth. That is according to front man Meyrick de la Fuente. The path taken in this record is itself sure to engage and entertain audiences. This will be discussed shortly. The musical arrangements that accompany the record’s lyrical theme do their own part to make the record appealing, and will be discussed a little later. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later. Each item noted here is important way to the whole of Act II: Gold. All things considered, they make the record a work that any prog-metal fan will find worth hearing.
Exist Imortal will take a big step forward in its life Friday when it releases its new EP, Act II: Gold through Seek & Strike Records. While the label is technically an independent label, the release of the EP with a label’s backing means the band is moving in the right direction. Of course it is just one sign of the band’s positive growth. The overarching lyrical theme of the band’s new EP is its own assurance of the growth of the band’s popularity. Front man Meyrich de la Fuente pointed out in a recent interview that the album’s lyrical theme continues the overall theme of dealing with inner struggles once a person has gotten through the initial stage of going through those emotional obstacles.
“Act One: Rebirth is about coming to terms with missed opportunities and letting the past go,” he said. “Act Two: Gold is about assessing what needs to be done in moments of clarity while coming through difficult times.”
His statement is proven through the record’s overall lyrical content. As the EP opens in the song ‘Atmosphere,’ de la Fuente sings in its chorus, “They’ll be waiting with their daggers out/To see if I am denied/It’s terrifying I might prove them right/I have to live my life/That’s why I need to find a place I can unwind/When it’s over/When I feel it sinking in.” This is clearly the beginning of that moment of clarity.
The positive vibe of which de la Fuente noted is even more as the EP continues in ‘Come Alive.’ He sings in the song’s lead verse, “I wanna get away/So tired of being this afraid/I feel it/I feel it/I can’t be down/I hate it/I hate it/I always drown/I won’t be your ghost/Holding on again/How can I be there/When something always takes me in the end.” The sense of determination continues in the song’s second verse, which states, “I’m still tryna find a way/While hoping for a better day/I feel it/I feel it/You must know why/We are one/So just take it away/It won’t be the same/Inside the echo of our/Heart is a game/The world is insane/It’s all a lie/Hard to see/Just where we meet inside these lines (It won’t be the same).”
As the EP enters its title track, the song seems to hint at letting go of the past as we reach that point of clarity. That is inferred as the speaker makes note of being so eager to let someone from the past back into one’s life even though we know the likely repercussions of such actions. The song’s subject responds, noting, that “I won’t back down/I can’t back down for anyone.” In other words, this is that self-assuredness coming through in that moment of clarity. That assurance is echoed in the chorus in the song’s finale, ‘The Cure.’ The song’s subject sings in the song’s chorus, “I’m waking up from all the chaos inside/I won’t give up/I’m strong enough.” The rest of the song’s lyrical content is just as confident. When it is considered along with the clear emotional journey on which the subject travels from the record’s opening, that overarching lyrical theme of which de la Fuente noted becomes fully clear. It in itself forms a strong foundation for the EP’s presentation.
The overall lyrical concept presented in this EP is itself reason enough for audiences to hear the record. It is just one of the positives to which audiences have to anticipate. The EP’s overall musical approach adds even more to its appeal. The musical arrangements featured in Act II: Gold will reach a wide range of metal and hard rock fans. The 16-minute presentation opens with a solid prog-metal work whose rich heaviness and djent style immediately lends itself to comparisons in part to works from Devin Townsend and in part to works from TesseracT. That hybrid approach makes the song a strong opener for the record. The band changes things up slightly in ‘Atmosphere’ with an almost metalcore style approach paired with its prog-metal roots. It makes for yet another interesting presentation in itself. ‘Gold’ is perhaps the most radio-ready of the EP’s works with its pure prog-metal approach, complete with soaring vocals. The TesseracT comparison is definitely present here, too. Though, the band still manages to give the song its own identity. The band goes even heavier in ‘The Cure,’ which closes out the album. Along with the continued TesseracT comparison, there is also a minor touch of a Meshuggah influence in the guitar arrangement. That added to the song’s overall melodic prog-metal arrangement makes for even more engagement and entertainment. When it is considered along with the rest of the record’s musical content, that whole enhances the EP’s appeal even more. It still is not the last of the EP’s most notable elements. The production of that content puts the finishing touch to the record.
The production that went into Act II: Gold is important to examine because of how much is going on in this record’s arrangements. The songs are busy to say the least, combining the rich, heavy guitars, the equally rich bass line, drums and vocal harmonies. Considering how much each instrument “has to say” within the bigger picture of each song, a lot of attention had to be paid to each song so as to ensure everything was balanced within each work. Thankfully that attention paid off each time. de la Fuente’s vocals, which possess their own wonderful power pair so well with the intensity of the instrumentation in each song. At no point do any of the lines overpower one another. Everything is so well balanced, to the result that the record’s production leads listeners to be fully immersed in the record. To that end, there is no doubt about the importance of the EP’s production. When it is considered along with the record’s featured arrangements and lyrical content, that whole makes Act II: Gold a record that every prog-metal purist will agree is worth hearing at least once.
Exist Immortal’s forthcoming EP Act II: Gold is a presentation that any prog-metal fan will find interesting. That is due in part to its featured lyrical theme. The theme in question follows the theme established in the record’s predecessor, Act I: Rebirth. The continuation of the “story” featured in that record is certain to engage listeners in its own right. The musical arrangements that accompany the EP’s lyrical content makes for its own appeal — especially again — for prog-metal purists. They are unique compositions that still exhibit influences from the band’s more well-known counterparts, such as TesseracT. The production of those arrangements puts the finishing touch to the record. It ensures every composition within the record is balanced to the utmost extent, and succeeds in so doing. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of this record. All things considered, they make the EP a presentation that prog-metal purists will find worth hearing at least once. Act II: Gold is scheduled for release Friday through Seek & Strike Records. More information on the EP is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
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