For the past three years, progressive metal group Reflections have been racing through the ranks of the modern hardcore music scene. Their debut, The Fantasy Effect, proved to be the kick in the door they needed to get their fans’ attention, and now Exi(s)t seeks to simply blow them away. With crushing heavy lead/rhythm guitar, fast and intricate drum fills, and a voice on par with some of the influences that drove this band forward, it’s a can’t miss.

None of the intrinsic fierceness and brutality synonymous with modern metal is lost in the first half. “Exit,” “Delirium” and “Vain Words From Empty Minds” deliver a one-two punch in the face that wakes the listener and introduces them to some of the dynamic sounds the album has to offer.

Far from just performing fast and hard, however, Exi(s)t throws in a few curveballs ranging from clever use of harmonics, to simply getting creative with impressive guitar riffs and solos. The truly experimental facet of the band blends well the chugging rhythm and thunderous drum work.

At the halfway mark, we get a taste of the melodic side of metal with tracks like “Lost Pages” and “Candle” that incorporate a slightly softer tone of vocalization and lyrics without reflecting it on the music, which stays consistent with hardcore ideals that make great artists in the genre.

Exi(s)t suffers no shortage of interesting songs all the way up to the concluding track, “Exist,” which mirrors the same ambient style opening as “Exit,” followed by staccato bursts of fuzz distortion and a strange array of quiet, menacing effects that, in the end, sign us off. By contrast, The Fantasy Effect pales in comparison to the new release. The record stands as proof that the group has only improved with time.

In A Word: Killer

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