I have two like bands sitting on my hard drive right now - the new Job For A Cowboy release, and this release from the unsigned Solipsist. After a dozen listens to each, I am having serious trouble figuring out why exactly the signed act of the two is Job For A Cowboy. Stacked side by side, EXTINCTION PROTOCOL destroys the new Job For A Cowboy record...literally blows it out of my hard drive and into the recycle bin. C'mon Metal Blade - catch up with these guys.
Solipsist is a death metal outfit that just doesn't fit nicely into the standard definitions of the genre. I say that for a lot of reasons. Listening from song to song, there's clearly a strong death metal element here, but there's also a lot of American extreme metal mixed throughout the sound. Take a song like "Steal The Sun" as an example. It's as brutal as anything you will ever here, and yet it has a breakdown with a clean vocal that sounds closer to something heavy from a Machine Head song than anything I've ever experienced in typical death metal. Noah Buchanan is a fierce vocalist that barks it out with the best of them, and yet can mix in a clean sound as well.
Without question though, the best element of Solipsist is their musicality. Being completely honest, the days of fast drummer and average playing have ended, which causes most death metal to be rehash and fairly similar sounding. Not so here. These songs are fierce, with a level of musicianship seldom seen in this genre. While all death metal drummers are basically awesome, Dave Chojnacki mixes speed with style in a way not heard very often. The only guy I can think of that's on the same plain as what's exhibited here as far as style, intricate changes and power would be Tim Yeung of Hate Eternal and Divine Heresy (among others). The varied frenzy of beats, blasts, and tempo movements on "Extinction Protocol" is truly amazing. To a lesser degree, the guitar work showcased here by Mark Witherspoon and Steve Sinko is great as well. These guys have a huge metal sound, and not the think sound that plagues so many bands of this genre in an effort to just play fast. The thickness and speed of the riffs on songs like "Trenches" is absolutely compelling.
PITRIFF RATING - 96/100 - There's literally one reason this band isn't signed - they haven't tried to be. With so much absolute garbage being put out in this musical genre, it's amazing to me that these guys are still tucked away in Cleveland playing local gigs and hoping for that big break. Being a fan of bands like Job For A Cowboy or Whitechapel, I find it hard to believe these guys aren't standing far atop that collection of bands. EXTINCTION PROTOCOL proves they are a better band.