On the newly available five-track release Oracle of Undoing, Ecliptic — which is the work of San Diego resident Michael Baer — explores tenuous musical and emotional space where power itself seems to shudder, and the scope of sound included within the record feels truly marvelous.
The lyrics across this latest Ecliptic effort reflect an ambition to dismantle oppressive power structures, and the actual instrumentals of the hard-hitting record rather strikingly seem to reflect this very same aim. On the closing track, Baer says, in part: “How sweet this sound? This waking? O, to remove the hierarchy of power,” and this striking sentiment covers the album’s whole experience.
From the opening track onward, the songs feel strong and pack serious force — the opening track itself leans into a dissonant death metal vibe, with riffing that feels monumental yet decidedly off-kilter. A sense of unease courses through the entire album, as though reflecting power that sits outside of the most straightforward heaviness all on its own. There’s a broad and even cosmic — or at least psychologically unsettling — imprint from the album, which feels immersive and gripping.
The music doesn’t feel particularly riff-centric, although the riffs seem unmistakably impressive — instead, Oracle of Undoing hinges on the overall journey that the record provides. The energy, which just about never stops swirling, feels subtly majestic, and the central perspective of the album’s instrumentals seems to spotlight a cacophonous push against restrictions. The album, whose songs feel staggeringly formidable yet consistently and rather organically vitriolic, explores areas in the metaphysical shadows around the most straightforward reflections of power. Pointedly, the foundation for the final track is a series of improvisations that amplify this feeling, as though floating through an inwardly illuminating cosmic haze like that depicted on the cover art.
The breadth in the sound, which features an array of smoothly flowing stylistic flourishes, helps establish the towering feel of the record. After the blistering drum avalanches and crushing riffing of the opening track, track two gets a big prog-oriented, with breathable but still very uneasy rhythms and dynamic vocals that feel menacing. From there, the record maintains a consistent heavy pummeling that frequently feels subtly unhinged, and the energy seems invigorating on a deep level. No moment on the entire record lands without a remarkable amount of attention-grabbing force — every flourish is great.
Listen to Oracle of Undoing below!