With all the internal hemorrhaging that Embrace The End have underwent, one would think they'd have done exactly what their namesake suggests. However, deathcore is a genre often galvanized by stubborn tenacity. And so, much like their peers in Through The Eyes Of The Dead, a high personnel casualty count seems to have left Embrace The End unfazed; while simultaneously providing the necessary hostility needed to make this type of music work.
"Ley Lines" isn't just another savage mauling like one would expect though. Sure the band remain firmly rooted in the deathcore trappings as fierce lunging riffs routinely give way to deep meaty breakdowns and pulsing intensity. But the volatility present here is often channeled into some creative avenues that may knock a few listeners preconceptions off-kilter. A couple guitar heroics here, some progressive experimentation and droning there and you have an experience that, that by no means balanced, plays out like a mix and match vivisection of the Neurosis and The Dillinger Escape Plan bodies of work, among others.
Still, talent and instrumental proficiency aside, it is the restraint and experimental passages on hand here that put "Ley Lines" a riff above their many peers. As the past year has proven, many bands can tear your face off with unrelenting brutality; but it is the groups with breathing room and a lust for expansion who keep their audience entertained for more than just one breakdown. That said, Embrace The End fall just short of creating a monumental release this with this album, but it could definitely be the megalith they need to put themselves on the map for future recognition.
(3.5 / 5)