Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, January 24, 2020

Insect Ark - The Vanishing

It's been a hell of a thing to watch Insect Ark grow and develop as a band over these past few years. This is a group that I have been passionate about for half a decade now and whose development, from when I first saw Dana Schechter as a solo project in DIY spaces throughout Brooklyn, into the two piece with drums provided by Andy Patterson (Subrosa, State Of The Nation) has been remarkable. Their first offering together, The Vanishing is an absolutely stunner with finely tuned songwriting that is dynamic and emotionally powerful, proving that within this band there shall be no spiritual surrender. 

There is something truly thrilling about the breadth of The Vanishing. Where 2018's Marrow Hymns brought new layers of melody and drive to the sound, this record feels much more... for lack of a better term, alive. Perhaps its the drumming of Andy Patterson that acts as the turning point providing a fitting rhythmic undertone, but Schecter's songwriting has also clearly developed in leaps and bounds. The use of slide guitar is stellar as always and the ominous vibes that they add to a track like 'Swollen Sun' is undeniably powerful. There are also new and more aggressive uses of the bass than ever before, with panicked rhythm lines pummeling the listener on 'Three Gates'.

One gets the sense there has been a lot of sacrifice in the creation of this record. Not creatively, but in terms of how intensely personal it can be. At times it feels like Schecter is hanging by a thread, but that makes the record all the more vital. The burning fight projected in the vastness of "Danube" for instance reminds us this project will not be silenced. There is so much to sink your teeth into here, including an overarching sense of redemption, battling internal demons. The sort of album you can spend years with, The Vanishing is a tear jerking masterpiece.

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