To call this one of my most anticipated records of 2013 would be an understatement. The Collective was on my top 10 of 2011 and the reason why I enjoy that so much (as well as the rest of their material) is because they focus way more on a song than on djent–esque wankery. The Collective was a pretty different turn for them, even with all of this considered, due to it being a pretty dark sounding record. The Migration, just by looking at it, seems like it’s going to be more uplifting, and certainly happier sounding than the last one. I’d definitely agree with that. But is it good? Yes. Very much yes.
Now, this may alarm you at first reading, but there’s definitely more shredding on this record. I’m fairly sure you guessed that midway through Odyssey and at the very beginning of Atlas Novus, the first two songs released to the public in support of this record. However, it continues to be very tastefully done. The song after this on the record, The Olive Tree, shows newcomer Mark Michell allowing a bit of his chops out in a bit of a tandem manner with the two guitarists Chris Letchford and Travis Levrier, keeping the rhythm while being both audible and not boring.
The guns come loose so to speak on Narrow Salient, aka “The Song You Can Headbang To At Least For The First Few Seconds”. From this part on, the distortion and the stuff I loved from The Collective mix with the uplifting sense of adventure of Carving Desert Canyons with just something totally new. The jaw-dropping bass solo at the beginning is just too fucking good. Everyone’s just on shred mode here and it is just glorious. I’m positive this song will be a live staple, particularly for any “really metal” tours they may go on. I’d also like to discuss the two interludes in this album, Willow and Oracle. Both of them serve to provide a noodling break from the craziness that this part of the record gets into, so enjoy them. Take a breather. Lay back and relax.
Now we come to my favorite song on the entire record right now, Evergreen. Aside from a very obvious memorable riff that plays at the beginning whose tone is just chunky, and the just phenomenal playing throughout, the little things are also really good, like the 32nd (or maybe 64th) notes around 4 minutes in. You can hardly tell they’re there if you’re not listening carefully, but they definitely flesh out that part a bit more. The Dark Horse is probably the most “The Collective” song on here, darker than the rest, though once again with considerably more shredding. Perhaps that’s why it’s called The Dark Horse? However, that tapping about 2:30 in. These little things make the record stand out.
Sabrosa, I think, is Scale The Summit’s attempt at playing a ballad. It’s much slower than the rest of the record, and most of the shredding is subdued for a much calmer vibe and very classic rock-esque guitar solos. It’s great! And the award for quaintest metal song goes to…The Traveler. You gotta love that beginning with the old radio sample. Personally, the thing that stands out to me most is the ending. That going from 4, to 3, to 1, then back to the radio sample is killer.
So overall, what do I think? Well, I think that the entirety of this record trumps The Collective by a wide margin. It makes a call to those who enjoy djent–esque shredding without compromising their values in writing tasteful songs. It goes back to the more uplifting songs of Carving Desert Canyons while taking a lot of the complexity of The Collective. Everyone is on their A-game here, and it shows.
2. Atlas Novus
3. The Olive Tree
4. Narrow Salient
7. The Dark Horse
10. The Traveler
Genre: Progressive Metal/Instrumental
Running Time: 43 Minutes
Record Label: Prosthetic Records