Iapetus - The Body Cosmic

01 Jun 2021 - Gene

Progressive, Melodic, Death Metal | Release date: 09 Nov 2019

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Revisiting one of 2019’s landmark records!

Now that the long-awaited vinyl pressing of one of 2019’s low-key landmark albums has finally come to grace the yearning hands of Crowd-fund backers, let us take a brief look back on The Body Cosmic. It took merely one full-length effort, 2017’s The Long Road Home to get us to the sheer mastery of the sophomore album in question and catapult Iapetus into our cold dead cultish hearts.

The Body Cosmic is a masterstroke of technical, guitar-heavy, progressive melodic Death Metal: a wordy, poetic concept album drenched in sci-fi metaphysics. For Iapetus (Titan son of Gaia and Ouranos) is a band fully committed in the language of their aesthetic, and it happens to be a good tongue for heady discourse and slapping heavy metal. The Body Cosmic spaces four lengthy movements, which guide the storyline, with shorter instrumental pieces, which pull from a selection of connective influences. The longer pieces channel dark prog: a dash of Petrucci, a splash of Åkerfeldt, the metallic clang and chug, the acoustic refrains, the upbeat tempo, and just so much more… and all so unburdened by the complication of bending one style to fit another. It all fits together swimmingly! And for this the production is to be commended, as well. Did we mention it was self-released?

The record is simply beautifully composed and performed. Blending Jordan Navarro’s sporadic but evocative keys and soaring guitar melodies, the harsh screams and thick Bass lines of Matheu Cerami, the ringing cleans courtesy of guest Emi Pellegrino, and the deft pigskins of Dan Presland of Ne Obliviscaris, the record absolutely delivers a rocking, thoughtful, adventurous and nearly immaculate vision. It is almost impossible, among even so few tracks to mention a favorite, but the fabulous, “I Contain Multitudes”, stands out as an incredibly potent epic, along with “For Creatures Such As We” for some of the juiciest riffs and the best vocal performances on the record. But this is not an album you listen to piecemeal, there is no hit single other than the album itself.

Perhaps the most exciting two things about the vinyl release of The Body Cosmic is that now, whether or not you’ve heard it, you must drop everything and go listen to it, and that, its success speaks to the near certainty of a follow-up being in the works. And that would be a blessing. From outer space.