Chuck Schuldiner Project

Monday, January 9, 2017

Vipassi - Sunyata

Incredibly dense, delicate and full of strangely eloquent guitars Vipassi have always been known as one of the weirder bands in the technical metal genre. This is a band who fuse the darkness of metal with moments of jazz and pure prog - it makes sense that they are, in many ways, a Ne Obliviscaris side project. The elegant chords and lyrical playing stand as a testament to a band who constantly impress and regularly remind us that there are far weirder things in the world than pure and simple heavy metal.

Vipassi fascinate me because even though, yes, they very much fit into the polemic of bands like Atheist they have managed to fuse the more abrasive elements of those bands with the subtle beauty of Animals As Leaders. Sure it's not as immediately startling and never quite so pretty, but in many ways the avantgarde nature of Sunyata is what makes it so goddamn enjoyable. While this is an album that definitely takes a spin or two to properly understand it is also an album that encourages the listener to take time to pick it apart and try to come to terms with a weirder side of the music we all love.

So yes, at times Sunyata is dizzying and paints sonic expanses of the sort I'm occasionally not comfortable with. This is just a part of the trade, a part of the bizarre self inflicted suffering heavy metal encourages in all of us. The bass playing in particular swirls in magical circles, hinting at ethereal futures and constantly dancing around the ear. Sunyata is a motherfucker of a record and one that certainly won't make sense on the first listen. However it will keep you in awe, constantly looking for that next high.

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