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Continuo Renacer - "The Great Escape" (CD)

Continuo Renacer - "The Great Escape" CD cover image

"The Great Escape" track listing:

1. The Great Escape (6:36)
2. Give up Tomorrow (6:42)
3. For Those Things to Come (6:51)
4. Facing Fears (5:38)
5. The Newborn (15:12)

Reviewed by on December 17, 2011

"The Spanish trio of Continuo Renacer marries together technical, bass driven music with a serious dose of jazz just as well as any band before it, all while offering much more interesting hooks than are usually heard in this style."

There was a time when metal bands infusing their music with jazz, generally while performing with absurd technicality, was a unique and innovative twist, but now it’s essentially become another sub-genre. From Obscura to Blotted Science to a host of lesser known acts, proggy tech-jazz is gaining prominence in the metal underground and landing on the radar of more than just those interested in the most obscure and inaccessible bands around. The Spanish trio of Continuo Renacer marries together technical, bass driven music with a serious dose of jazz just as well as any band before it, all while offering much more interesting hooks than are usually heard in this style.

Besides doing the technical wankery thing, Continuo Renacer adds a little something extra on “The Great Escape” by gallivanting off with a variety of avant-garde and atmospheric flourishes. The opening title track weaves various samples of disconnected phone messages throughout the entire song, using them as a separate instrument to create music instead of just laying them down as an intro or interlude. “For Those Things to Come” takes a stylistic turn by bringing out the spacey and futuristic sounds, while the stuttering and repeating guitar work found on “Facing Fears” has an almost ‘core style breakdown attack.

The music is of course focused on the bass, which is funky and jazzy to the max, but the guitar frequently plays an incredibly important role of giving each song its own specific vibe. There are elements of death metal brutality, the occasional grandiose power metal flair, and even the rhythms of more traditional metal bands. Like with other groups in this experimental style, there is a tendency for some ideas and riffs to go on for a bit too long as the musicians work their ways across every note their instruments can offer. Thankfully it doesn’t drag the music down far, as there’s enough unique atmosphere and varying sounds that the album doesn’t come off as soulless technicality with no purpose.

The entirely instrumental “The Great Escape” works the tech-jazz-prog trifecta from all angles and is an excellent addition to an underground sub-genre working its way to the surface. Fans of Animals as Leaders, Odyssey, or Obscura will find a lot to enjoy in these five offbeat tracks.

Highs: Hits the trifecta of prog, jazz, and technical metal with a variety of interesting twists.

Lows: Some of the ideas could have been cut off earlier or used more sparingly.

Bottom line: Another band throws its hat into the jazzy and technical instrumental metal ring, and it's a winner for fans of the style who like their music more avant-garde.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
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)