Album Review: Exist – Hijacking the Zeitgeist (Prosthetic Records)

US progressive metal band Exist make their return with their fourth album, ‘Hijacking the Zeitgeist’, set for release via Prosthetic Records on April 12th, 2024.

Photo Credit: Chris Joao

It’s intriguing to find Exist in such a straightforward mood, being far blunter from a song writing perspective, and infusing the music with heavier tones. All while being as progressively expansive as ever. It’s an album you can’t help but study, even as it compels you to head bang.

The layers of detail in the album is on garish display with aplomb from the start with Blue Light Infinite. Exist showcasing gorgeous intensity from both an instrumental and vocal perspective. Get used to the fascinating way in which Exist go from dreamy melodies and clean singing to rambunctious heaviness and guttural growls as it is a major part of the album makeup.

Further proven by the wandering brilliance of Thief of Joy. A track that features an array of brash technicality and progressive harmony. The first ‘big’ showcase of Exist’s ability to grow a track, stage by stage. Although how sprawling things get with the title track is noteworthy too. Exist’s ability to be so attentive to every aspect of the song, letting instruments breathe, and finding fresh ways to move things forward is constantly impressive.

Their more direct approach to song writing has the whole album feeling quite peppy and energetic. Which means there’s little chance of feeling overawed by the progressive metal on show. Funeral Toll and A Path to Nowhere coming next, and both tracks continuing to amaze with dazzling displays of intricate detail.

As great as everything has been so far though, One Degree Removed from Human is a very special track. Here, Exist dig into the moody mire, bring forth some egregious moments of heavy, and craft enigmatic harmony. It’s the most complex sounding track of all, which is saying something as the album is a multifaceted experience.

Shown with even more intent with the finale of Window to the All. Exist sounding their heaviest, but with heaviness that is balanced out by esoteric melody. The way in which it eases out is the perfect way to wrap things up.

Exist have focused on being as concise and direct as possible on this album, which is a rarity in progressive metal. That being said, they still manage to deliver something that feels bigger than it is, simply by packing in so much detail. It’s a very clever listen.

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Exist – Hijacking the Zeitgeist Track Listing:

1. Blue Light Infinite
2. Thief Of Joy
3. Hijacking The Zeitgeist
4. Funeral Toll
5. A Path To Nowhere
6. One Degree Removed From Human
7. Window To The All


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Exist - Hijacking the Zeitgeist (Prosthetic Records)
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