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Divinihility, the upcoming full-length release from death metal wanderers Atræ Bilis, is a deceptive release. On the surface, the record presents an image of a brutal, highly technical death metal band at its bludgeoniest — especially as you enter “A Ceremony of Sectioning,” the album’s closing track that we're premiering below. A closer look, though, reveals an engaging and charismatic band whose enthusiasm for risk-taking in their songwriting is only matched by their success in execution.

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Atræ Bilis could have easily written a rolling kicks 'n’ blast beats chug-a-lug death metal record and called it a day -- they’ve got the chops, the aesthetic, and the music draws heavily from those notes. But what they’ve instead done is reached deep within that style of music, carefully excised its most precious internal delicacies, and reinterpreted them alongside a host of unanticipated techniques and components.

Even at their chuggiest, Atræ Bilis resist the urge to settle into well-worn territory, whether it’s through the injection of rhythmic flourishes and odd-time shifts in tempo or meter, unanticipated breaks and pauses, or dissonant melodic overlays. The tail end of “A Ceremony of Sectioning” features a brief string flourish, and only here do those instruments appear -- it was simply the ingredient that this portion of the song needed, at this specific time, and that was sufficient. Elsewhere on the album, the band utilize choral chants to the same effect: it’s what the music needs right here and only here to become complete.

Nothing about Divinihility is an afterthought; there isn’t a single passage in any of its six songs that feels phoned-in or conventional.

But perhaps Atræ Bilis’ greatest strength is knowing where to hold themselves back. Though wildly technical, the band’s death metal eschews the farthest reaches of rhythmic chaos in favor of remaining head-bangingly compelling. The band’s more unrestrained impulses are always tempered with heavy doses of Dyscarnate-esque straightforwardness for a resulting sound that challenges the listener while preserving the music’s accessibility as a priority over the readily apparent prowess of its creators.

The chance meeting of drummer Luka Govednik and guitarist David Stepanavicius at a record store, with Luka approaching David to chat about the tower of vinyl in his hands, is the perfect origin story for a band whose work is a seamless incorporation of so many divergent influences. It’s only natural that the music emerging from such circumstances would flow so smoothly and uniformly over the varied terrain of its landscape.

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Divinihility releases August 1st via Transcending Obscurity Records.

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