The progressive metal band Sublimerent from Berlin, Germany, was formed in late 2018, and consists of Álvaro (Drums), Jerome (Guitar), Luce (Vocals) and Martin (Bass). Their latest recorded work, is the 3 track conceptual EP, entitled “Circular Emotion”, which was mixed and mastered by Mendel (ex-Aborted, Oracles, System Divide). So, what is the glue that makes this recording stick together? What are you supposed to feel when you’re listening to “Circular Emotion”? The driving themes behind the EP is alluded to in the song titles themselves – “Perception”, “Sentiment” and “Singularity”. Each discussing the existential weight of its own meaning and the effect it has on the other two.
So is “Circular Emotion” a progressive rock classic? To start with, it’s definitely a recording worth remembering, one that stands out as an influential figure in its category. It’s full of subtle, detailed arrangements and kaleidoscopic lyrical themes bands of this genre don’t really bother with, leaning all their weight on the explosive bombast.
That makes this EP an engaging, and demanding spin, which reveals a little more of itself every time you play it. There’s a balance between cerebral and visceral pursuits on “Circular Emotion” that few bands balance this well, and make this accessible to a large public.
So truth be told, though rock often seems to move forward on nostalgia and inertia, it periodically shakes itself awake and offers something genuine and vital, a small jewel extruded from a largely undifferentiated mass of slag. Such a small jewel is “Circular Emotion”.
On opening track one, “Perception”, the immediate impact of Luce’s voice cannot be discounted; it is the thing that immediately catapults Sublimerent beyond their contemporaries. He moves from a resonant mellifluous croon, to a thick, often anguished roar, able to raise goosebumps on the skin.
Luce’s growls and wails rise above the pulsing rhythms, mingling with Jerome’s spiraling guitar leads to create a storm. He puts forth thought-provoking lyrical messages in the song, rendering them even more powerful through creative musical passages and compositional ideas, which the band execute to perfection.
The intense dynamism, amazing instrumentation and complex song structures, continue on “Sentiment”. The song’s launch is patient and tactile, as the band bay and bide their time before exploding into a bludgeoning rhythm, where the colossal and vicious drumming by Álvaro drives the build ups and volatile time signatures.
Luce remains central to the song, boasting an awe-inspiring delivery of both beauty and brutality. The track is one of the most instinctive and predatory moments on this recording…thus far, because “Singularity” will crush you into oblivion, making every other current progressive metal band on the face of the earth look dull, grey and ordinary.
Big nasty guitars, superb assaulting drums, tortured growling vocals, and Martin’s break-neck bass is nothing short of ferocious on this track. The intense tone escalates to impossible heights, resolving with richly melodic vocal interludes and dreamy auras, before switching back to grinding riffage.
The sound all across this EP is varied and incredibly huge – a mix of blasting composition, melodic parts and crushing musical passages. The drumming is just insane, while spectacular basslines meet earthshaking guitar riffs, and great power vocals, in a sprawl of coiled menace and layered dreaminess. Sublimerent are ready to redefine the boundaries of conceptual progressive metal.
The music is smart, progressive, heavy and melodic. Over and above, just unleashing an abrasive sonic assault, there is context surrounding “Circular Emotion”, as it shows the heights that can be hit in terms of lyrical content. Technically, compositionally and lyrically, this is simply a phenomenal masterwork!