Next Life - Artificial Divinity (2011)

I came across the Norwegian band Next Life (from Tønsberg) during the Tromsø International Film Festival 2013 in January, where they had a "visual concert" related to the film theme. Their performance on this concert was a combination of live music and Final Fantasy VII, the latter in the form of clips from the game that were projected on the screen. Even though I'm not familiar with the game, I thought the concert was awesome. (I wrote a review about it and another adjoining concert for the school paper, read it here.)  Here is the trailer for that show:

The style of Next Life is a bit tricky to explain briefly. So instead, I shall explain it not-so-briefly. Video game metal would be one term, but it's way too narrow. In addition to that, Next Life is progressive, extreme, partly electro, aggressive, and heavy. And metal. It is the first band I've found that can be classified into progressive metal but has songs that are most often less than two minutes in lenght. Brief and progressive. And yes, they are purely an instrumental band. No singing is needed.

Artificial Divinity is their latest release from 2011, and it's an EP consisting of 12 songs. The total lenght of the EP is about 20 minutes, so one listen is never enough. Thus far I haven't been bored. The music is extremely versatile, ranging from thrashy speed and rage to calming ambient electro, and a thunder storm that ends the EP. Part of the unique Next Life sound is the use of (for lack of a better term) beeping sounds and other electro elements, which are the main connection to the term video game metal I mentioned. The surprising part for me was that despite this electro and gaming stuff, they've been able to keep the music heavy. Written down this all might sound like a mess, but since we are dealing with real talents right here, the result is extremely, extremely impressive, as well as addictive. I highly recommend this band to anyone who might be interested in electro-influenced progressive metal that WILL NOT bore you!

Artificial Divinity gets a 9/10 from me.

Check out one of the heaviest songs of Artificial Divinity, Anti Matter:

Next Life on Facebook.

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