Not only does Ayahuasca effortlessly broach the gap between death metal and progressive metal, Beneath The Mind stands out from the crowd whilst doing so.
Entering with the ambiance of an Amazon rainforest, Beneath The Mind soon whisks you away from the tranquil setting you find yourself in. Met with the wall of percussion Ayahuasca employ in their music and the embrace of the three guitars, you soon find yourself well and truly down the rabbit hole of this captivating death metal band. From this point onward, you’re in for a hallucinatory and crushing ride through eight tracks of psychotropic wonder. The album opens with “Instinct”, and, as mentioned, you’re faced with a titanic introduction, before taking a ride through ten minutes of gripping progressive death metal. This track first featured on their Instinct EP from 2015, so I was already familiar with its structure. However, in this re-recorded version, it sounds much crisper, whilst still keeping the raw fury of the original.
One of my favorite moments of the song, and, indeed, the album, happens around the seventh minute, as the dissonance washes out and it feels like the track has concluded. As soon as you think you’re safe, the drums kick back in, followed swiftly by some of the gnarliest riffs you’ve heard all year. The track continues along this incredibly heavy and furious march to its definitive conclusion, unwavering in its originality as a song.
If you follow Everything Is Noise, you’ll see that Ayahuasca was our Weekly Featured Artist recently, and we also had the distinct pleasure of premiering their latest single “Eternal Embrace”. These Cologne-based metalheads have been working on their debut record Beneath The Mind for around five years, and will be unleashing it on November 9 for you all to consume. The band’s aim was to make an album which is unsettling and gives its listeners an experience akin to that of taking the famed ayahuasca plant. In that sense, they have definitely succeeded.
With eight members in the band, you’re always faced with a wall of sound, and better yet, more instrumentation to pick out on future relistens. Just the three guitars alone are fantastic to focus on, with twisting solos strewn throughoutthe chaos. I found a lot of comparisons to European groove metal bands like Textures in their music, but also some tangs of early Contortionist too, especially in some of their proggier material. The band utilizes a lead singer who invariably performs harsh vocals, with backup vocalists providing a jarring and psychedelic experience.
The band has an exceptional talent in for driving their songs forward and switching together repetitive guitar chops and blistering solos, making this a very fluid experience. I was very glad the band didn’t queue the 3 reworked tracks from their EP up in a row like some bands have done before them, and they’ve worked the album so each song feels right in its new position. They’ve spaced the album out nicely, introducing lighter tracks to the mix as well. This is something you’ll really notice in the Pink Floyd-esque introduction to “Cult”. With cleans that sound inspired by The Dillinger Escape Plan‘s Greg Puciato, this song screams maturity to me, not only in songwriting but in its pacing on the album. Without this proggy track to break up the onslaught of death metal, one might tire of the record, but this almost acts as a wake-up call to the listener.
Overall, I’ve really enjoyed my time with the record, and I’ve been making sure to tell all my metal friends about it. Not only does Ayahuasca effortlessly broach the gap between death metal and progressive metal, Beneath The Mind stands out from the crowd whilst doing so. As mentioned in the two other articles I’ve penned on the band, I’m very excited to see the cacophony of noise live, and to meet these fantastic guys in the flesh. I expect the band to gain traction after the launch, so keep your eyes peeled and spread this great album around!