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The Binary Code - "Suspension of Disbelief" (CD)

The Binary Code - "Suspension of Disbelief" CD cover image

"Suspension of Disbelief" track listing:

1. Suspension Of Disbelief (Part I) (3:17)
2. Suspension Of Disbelief (Part II) (3:32)
3. Mechanical Seas (4:48)
4. Ghost Planet (4:15)
5. Void (2:48)
6. The Story (Intro) (:39)
7. The Story (5:13)
8. Human Condition (Intro) (:56)
9. Human Condition (4:21)
10. Awaiting Necropolis (5:00)
11. Void II (1:49)

Reviewed by on December 15, 2009

"The idea that the world needs another progressive technical death metal band may irk some fans, but The Binary Code has the skills to etch their names as one of the bright up-and-comers in the genre. "

The hype has been growing for The Binary Code’s debut album, “Suspension Of Disbelief,” ever since popular metal blog Metalsucks announced that it had partnered with the band to digitally distribute the album on their website. The band’s progressively technical approach to modern death metal will render up images of The Faceless and early-era Between The Buried And Me, but engulfed with a jazzy melodic air. A perfect showcase of their vast potential as both songwriters and musicians, “Suspension Of Disbelief” is a dark, poignant debut that succeeds expectations, even with a few rough patches of sloppy playing.

The Binary Code is very critical of humanity and society, misanthropes dogged by the imperfections of everyone around them. This harsh lyrical concept is supported with an uncompromising brutality loaded with menacing riffs and hard-hitting drum work. However, there is also an ambient, calm side to the band that helps to balance out the punishing aggression. The title track is a prime example; split into two halves, the first part is a tech death onslaught that grinds the listener down to its knees, while the second part is a dim ray of soothing light piercing through the thick darkness.

This sharp contrast has a tug-of-war effect on the album, as both sides of the band are competing for musical supremacy. In the hands of a lesser band, this strategy would crash and burn, but The Binary Code is able to balance along the thin line between chaos and tranquility. For every blast-fest like “Ghost Planet,” there is an eccentric jazz-metal jam session, evident in the two “Void” tracks. The best songs are the ones that incorporate both sides together, like the spacey keyboard flourishes on “Mechanical Seas” and the clean, Cynic-esque lead work on “The Story.”

“Suspension Of Disbelief” is an easy play-through, flowing well from one track to the next. Unlike a lot of modern bands, the instrumentals segue nicely from the constant barrage, showcasing the skills and competency of all the musicians. The songs aren’t too long, clocking in around the five-minute mark on average, but there is a hint of progression that gives off an epic feel to the album. The Binary Code has spent five years honing in their sound and their debut album is a direct representation of how far they have come since their early days.

Not everything goes over smoothly, though. While the level of musicianship can’t be denied, there is a hint of sloppiness to a few of the later tracks, especially “Awaiting Necropolis.” Tech death is a complex style and the band seems to almost fall apart at times, especially when the blast beats are flying and the melodies are at a speedy peak. Everything is kept together enough to not fall off the hinges, but the signs are there; a tighter sound will go a long way to legitimize the band in the near future.

The idea that the world needs another progressive technical death metal band may irk some fans, but The Binary Code has the skills to etch their names as one of the bright up-and-comers in the genre. The hype that has been given by Metalsucks is justified, as the band has the goods in delivering a harrowing, deep listening experience. A few kinks need to be worked out, but “Suspension Of Disbelief” is a strong debut album that is technically-sound and bubbling with creative ideas.

Highs: Technically-sound death metal with a progressive edge, jazz influences shine on several instrumentals, epic feel to the album even with the shorter songs.

Lows: Sloppy playing in places, a few too many instrumentals/intros.

Bottom line: "Suspension Of Disbelief" shows why The Binary Code is one of the most promising young acts in the progressive tech death scene.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)