“This wasn’t their first record, but it was the one where they really came into their own. They would probably be described as ‘death metal,’ but there are so many elements of fusion and classical in what they do. The guitar player is influenced by Allan Holdsworth – who else is like that in extreme metal?
“Their use of polyrhythms is incredible, and here again, that’s a concept that was explored pretty much in fusion. Cyclical rhythms going over the bar line that make the listener think it’s an odd time, but it’s really in 4/4 – Steve Smith did that, but I never thought an extreme metal band could pull it off. The drummer, Tomas Haake, is a master at it.
“And they keep topping themselves and pushing that concept – it’s remarkable. But this is the record where they started it all. They’re a very inspiring band.”