"The Perfect Moment"

(Metal Blade)

01. Prelude
02. The Beginning
03. Unsuspecting Mind
04. The Witness's Account
05. One Day, All Eyes Went Dim
06. From the Ashes Of Infancy
07. Linear Prophecy
08. Church of Pitted Vipers
09. Madness (Sentiment of a Dying Man)/Cessation

RATING: 9/10

Expecting another metalcore outfit plundering Swedish riffs and singing like canaries in the chorus? Think again — behind this enigmatic artwork lies one mindfucker of a hybridized, mutated metal masterpiece! LOSA twist and turn psychotically as this CD (one album-length movement, reportedly played from start to finish in their live show) veers through churning, stuttering rhythms, skronking odd chords, glowering moody passages with mournful clean vocals, and — the band's strongest suit — epic riffs married to frighteningly intense screaming.

Reference points are few and far between, despite the fact that LOSA doesn't really sound all that revolutionary on the surface. They've got some of MASTODON's sense of the rollicking and bombastic, a bit of "Dimension: Hatross-era VOIVOD in their weird conceptual changes and mood shifts, a TOOL-like sense of tension, release, and ability to create disquieting softer passages. It's all stuffed into a skin that's superficially akin to the likes of CONVERGE — apocalyptic, wild-eyed, and shockingly powerful. There are progressive elements, but nothing too show-offy or ridiculously technical, and there are grinding parts, but nothing that simply bludgeons for its own sake.

In short, LOSA have their own thing going, and their lack of adhesion to any one sound or style is pretty damn refreshing, even as their basic vibe remains close enough to extreme metal convention that they don't come off as too weird or off-putting. "The Perfect Moment" thus reveals itself to be a crucial next step in the evolution of extreme metal — something familiar enough to latch on to that shows us how the building blocks we already know can be used to reach a new plateau. That's an impressive accomplishment, made even more so by the fact that this is the band's debut.

"The Perfect Moment" is a harrowing journey, as satisfying an album as it is groundbreaking. It's hard to really explain or write about, since reviews are by necessity usually built on a foundation of the already familiar. But that's to LOSA's credit, and something they should be commended for — it'd be wonderful to see more bands taking chances like this. Pick up "The Perfect Moment" and let its violent, cathartic uniqueness sink in — a band this far ahead of the curve is eminently worthy of your support and time.


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