Reared Up In Spectral Predation
Review by Alex on April 11, 2021.
Universally Estranged has released the strangest death metal album I've heard in a while. The album title alone is enough to make you scratch your nod. Reared Up In Spectral Predation; an euphemism for a curse term combined with an intellectual phrase. A scientific underbelly of darkness and cosmo-sexual mechanisms operating at perplexed and unequivocal angles; Reared Up In Spectral Predation is a most gratifying and scornful advent into the farthest realms of the galaxy and your guts.
What struck me after 3 repeated listening sessions is the seamless way Universally Estranged was able to walk a thin line between creating an absurdly technical record and carving out something that the listener can follow even with so many syncopated rhythm sections. Perhaps it could also be the band's greatest feat accomplished with this undertaking, not making the listener uncomfortable with effective technical artistry while still being able to place a sheet of structural simplicity over the songs to mask the complex instrumental engineering.
You'd be made aware of the thrashing layers atop the serpentine sonics that'd mimic Vector on 'Internecine Psychic Bloodletting' or even the frenetic 'Despoiling The Souls Of Flesh Across The Galaxy' that boasts a rather strong ambiance all working together to create a sense of movement, connection, and continuity. Then there's a song like 'The Visitor' that'd mimic mid-era Death in some sections while still tearing a page out of Blood Incantation's and Timeghouls's book before making landfall on yet another ambient techno-cosmic piece.
A lot is going on the album and I think it won't be long before you pick up on it. Musically you're tangled and left paralyzed due to the multiplicity of interwoven transitions and technical flare. However, it must be noted that Reared Up In Spectral Predation contains a runtime of slightly over 30 minutes but feels like a much longer album (but in a very good way). Like a novel or some sort of documentary, the record appears to have its intro, thesis, and conclusion adhere gracefully. It has to be the unpredictability of the musicianship that has caused this to happen along with loads of ambiance featured on a song such as 'Teeming With That Of Unknown Origin' that again manages to cast a shade of grey over the listener's ear causing the technical ambition to not override the atmosphere evoked.
There's also something about that guitar tone that I just love; some parts bring to mind Crackdust's "Dented Reality" being one of my favorite death metal albums. Forgive the name dropping but its far too many influences or similarities heard on the record to not at least list a few.
Reared Up In Spectral Predation is an exceptional album that merges eerie cosmic atmospherics with serpentine guitar and drum parallels while molding a consonant yet corrupt soup of cosmic carnality. A must-have for the lower regions of death metal; you'll be 'Blistered Under The Blue Illusion'.
Rating: 9.4 out of 10437