A Sense Of Gravity Discuss ‘Atrament’

Seattle metallers A Sense Of Gravity recently took the time to take us behind the meanings and makings of their full length release Atrament…


Drowning in the Ink

Brendon:  This was the last track written, though we’d planned out exactly what we wanted to do for it early on. The swell at the beginning is the reversed audio of the final chord from the end of Spectre (the closing track from Travail), so Atrament picks up right where Travail left off.  Then it goes right into a grand symphonic opening to the album, tying in reharmonized, reinterpreted themes from Reclusive Peace, Manic Void, and Shadowed Lines.

Reclusive Peace

Morgan:  This song I actually wrote before I joined A Sense of Gravity.  A little bit of rearranging and it worked perfectly with the sound of the band. It’s a balance between the technical and aggressive aspects of our sound and the melodic and progressive aspects, all condensed into one shorter song.

Echo Chasers

B:  This is our headbanger – sometimes it’s the most satisfying to be able to groove out uninterrupted to a fun, full-on metal song. The second riff was actually the first riff I wrote for A Sense of Gravity back when David and I started the band in 2011, but it didn’t make it on the first album.  The first riff was written by CJ during the Travail writing process, but it wasn’t until 2015 that CJ and I got together and hammered out the rest of it in one or two writing sessions.

The Divide

B:  My goal for this song was to write something with a really solid, danceable groove despite the fact that it’s in 13/16.  I based the entire song on one unique rhythmic pattern that repeats itself throughout, and then reinterpreted it in lots of different ways, taking it from one extreme to another.

Artificially Ever After

M:  I wanted to explore the more progressive elements of our sound with this one.  You can hear older prog rock influences mixed in with our more modern heavier style. From 70’s inspired prog to technical metal to a spacey polyrhythmic tapping section, this one covers a lot.  The big chorus helps to connect all of these parts together.

Revenant

B:  This was one of the last songs written for the album.  I wanted something slower and heavier to break up all of the constant fast and technical riffs we ended up writing for this album.  Interesting fact: the “guitar solo” in the middle is actually a keyboard solo played by Brandon.  I originally wrote this to demo a guitar virtual instrument for the company Impact Soundworks, and we liked it so much that we kept it for the final version of the song!

Guise of Complacency

B:  This is the “shredder” of the album.  Inspired by technical death metal, but with elements of all our other influences sprinkled about liberally, including power metal, groove metal, etc. The first fourth or third of the song was written immediately after the release of our first album, Travail, and the rest was written by Morgan after he joined as our new guitarist.

Shadowed Lines

M:  This one is all about atmosphere and dynamics.  It starts like a ballad and slowly builds tension into the groovy metal section in the middle. Everything builds to the epic ending of the song.  CJ’s vocal work on this is incredibly powerful and it is a feature for the amazing range and versatility of his singing.

Promised None

M:  Brendon and I wrote this whole song together.  It was a really fun way to write and all of our ideas worked really well together.  This is a groove based song, with the entirety of the song based around one rhythmic pattern.  That pattern is used in many different ways throughout but helps to add a cohesion to the song.  This one also features a killer guitar solo by Brandon, the longest solo on the album.

The Projectionist

B:  This fast and thrashy song was actually written during the Travail writing period, but we decided it didn’t fit on the album anywhere, so we held onto it.  My main inspirations for the track were Extol, Enslaved and Opeth, but it ended up not really sounding like any of them!

I, Recreant

M:  The ballad of the album.  Brendon wrote the opening groove, classical guitar part and melody.  I loved it so much I decided to finish it.  The middle portion of this song features a pretty interesting part where 3 different time signatures are happening at once.  The anthemic ending of this song is one of my favorite moments on the album and also features my favorite solo on the album (a dual solo between Brendon and myself).

Manic Void

M:  The closer of the album is a beast of a song.  A crazy guitar/keyboard unison, manic (pun intended) riffs, huge power metal chorus, insane solos and the climatic moment of the album which ties everything together.  This is one of the more aggressive tracks on the album but that intensity makes the ending even more powerful.  Brendon’s amazing orchestration is the perfect to end this album.

A Sense Of Gravity – Atrament [REVIEW]

When you think of the Seattle music scene, your mind immediately goes towards the grunge scene with bands like Nirvana and the like. Very rarely do you think of the prog and technical rock side of the group, but this band aim to change your mind on such things. A Sense Of Gravity are here to give you sixty two minutes of something heavy, something gripping and almost something on the theatrical side of things!

You can already feel the more anthem side of the band immediately with the first track ‘Drowning In The Ink’ which, whilst it brings something fresh and really exciting, for an album opener it has a misleading quality to it. It sounds like something out of a Broadway musical with the orchestral and piano parts with C.J. Jenkins providing very touching melodies with his voice during the softer parts, making it a more stand out element of the track. Don’t worry for those who like their guitars, the next track brings that in spades with their latest single ‘Reclusive Peace’ which breaks out the technicality from the get go and shows off what the rest of the band can bring to the table. Ferocious drums, a whole array of guitar tones and a lethal low scream that makes the record sound more extreme metal than anything. It feels like the band is coming more into their own as it progresses further and further.

Like with a lot of progressive and technical showing of these style of bands, they give themselves a lot of minutes in each song to flow through many intricacies. The longest track on the record does that, with ‘Manic Void’ kicking off like it was the start of a boss fight in a Final Fantasy game. As the track progresses you feel you can pan out what magic attacks you’d use to attack the creatures with the synth taking control of the lead parts. The longer tracks tend to go on a more heavier route with this track incorporating some elements of deathcore into it. Other tracks such as ‘Guise Of Complacency’ do follow a more tech metal route with once again the cleans making a nice touch to the ever flowing guitars. All three guitarists know what they are making themselves capable of with each member either heightening each other or working with each other to create a beautiful set of harmonies amongst one another.

The drums provide a nice and sharp punch from start to finish with songs like ‘The Divide’ going one way with a more softer approach to what you might be used to hearing on the record up to tracks such as ‘The Projectionist’ which goes fuller into faster drum patterns reminiscent of thrash metal. The production and mix throughout the record has a great well-rounded sound to it all with nothing sounding drowned out or overwhelming which always amounts to a great album. The only think that seems to be lacking is that the album tends to cater to two different audiences and with that you will get a few tracks that people might not enjoy. For the casual listener of all things metal, a song like ‘I, Recreant’ will be a great listen for you. For the more advanced technological person who has a knack for the genre this song might not please all of the senses, but there will be tracks that will get their earbuds salivating, such is that of ‘Promised None’ which goes on that Animals As Leaders vibe in terms of keeping in time and being more show off with its skill and technical detail.

Overall, this record definitely brings it in many attributes and leaves very few blemishes for people to pick at. Whilst it might not be gripping for everyone from front to back, there will always be those hidden gems they wont be able to stop listening to.