Dark Future [Spinefarm Records] may be the second full-length album from Entheos, but it feels like the first for the California quartet—Chaney Crabb [vocals], Navene Koperweis [drums], Evan Brewer [bass], and Travis LeVrier [guitar]. As far as technical heavy music goes, the group’s powerhouse pedigree remains unparalleled. A veritable who’s who of the scene, Evan and Navene not only co-founded underground luminaries Animosity, but the bassist and drummer served in the ranks of The Faceless and Animals As Leaders, respectively. As Chaney, Navene, and Evan toured behind Entheos’s acclaimed 2016 debut, The Infinite Nothing, the lineup solidified with the addition of Travis—who had recently departed Scale The Summit.
“To me, Dark Future is like our first real release,” affirms Chaney. “Travis coming into the band was the perfect match, and the album encompasses each individual band member. It’s us saying, ‘This is Entheos. This is who we are. Dark Future begins our journey’.”
“I’ve known Navene and Evan since 2004,” says Travis. “When they were touring behind The Infinite Nothing, we hung out. They asked me if I was interested in playing guitar for them. I joked, ‘I would step in, but I’m not sure if I have the chops.’ They exchanged a look, and I was like, ‘What did I say? I was joking.’ It turns out they weren’t,” he laughs. “Ultimately, it was a really seamless transition for me.”
The Infinite Nothing earned praise from Loudwire, Metal Injection, New Noise Magazine, and more as the group toured with everyone from The Black Dahlia Murder and The Dillinger Escape Plan to Veil of Maya and Between The Buried and Me. Getting off the road, the musicians holed up in Navene's apartment in early 2017 to begin writing what would become Dark Future together.
“We wanted to evolve the sound a little bit,” Navene exclaims. “Evan wrote a lot more. You can feel Travis’s influence in there. We didn’t have that before. The process was different this time around. We decided to get together for a couple of weeks in a room and hammer out the whole album. The last time, it was mostly done via email. Being in the same place, you really get inspired by what everyone else is doing.”
“It just flowed really well once we got together,” agrees Travis. “That was the last piece of the puzzle that I needed to prove to myself. I knew I could do well on tour and live, but I wanted to prove I could write music with them. The whole thing was very inspiring for all of us. It was creativity in its purest from. That’s where it all started.”
“Now, it was much more of a group effort from the ground up,” adds Evan. “It was different in that regard. Once we started recording, everything went really fast.”
The song “Melancholia” reflects the strength of their union. Tightly wound polyrhythmic guitars entwine with mind-numbing percussion, tempering technicality, groove, and space. Meanwhile, Chaney’s screams haunt and hypnotize before spiraling into an entrancing blast of fret fireworks.
“The title fully describes the song,” admits Chaney. “It’s about being melancholy or unsure about life and if the decisions you’ve made are correct. The start is very reminiscent of our last two releases, but there’s an evolution in songwriting that brings everything into new territory.”
Speaking of new territory, two head-spinning musical movements earmark the record. The first sees “Black Static (I)” collide with the progressive pummeling of “White Noise (II),” while the second ignites the scorched metallic mastery of “Inverted Earth (I)” towards the galactic grinding of “Sunshift (II).”
“I think this album is going to translate better live,” explains Evan. “It’s technical, but not in a super dense way. There’s more space, and the tempos are slightly slower—which will be fun on stage.”
Ultimately, Dark Future hints at what’s ahead for not only Entheos, but extreme music in general as it positions the band ahead of the curve in all regards.
“I want people to walk away with a sense of who we are as a band,” concludes Chaney. “Evan, Navene, and I have been extremely tightknit since the beginning. It just took us a year-and-a-half to find Travis. Now that we’re together, I hope listeners want even more from us.”
“I hope audiences feel like they experienced something,” Navene leaves off. “When I heard it totally done, I felt like I had just left a movie theater. It’s a heavy, deep, and cinematic experience. I hope that’s what comes across.”
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