Calculating Failure

Label: Independent
Three similar bands: Morbid Angel/
Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Planned Obsolescence
2. Calculating Failure
3. Artifice Hallucination
4. Fulminate

Travis Huffton - Bass
Jacob Nunn - Drums, Vocals
Ross Huber - Guitars



Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland

Released 2021-09-17
Reviewed 2022-02-06


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Death metal of the brutal kind is what the band Existentia has offer with their first EP, the band from Philadelphia has put together four songs for the fan of the brutal death metal style. On Calculating Failure we get to hear the classic brutal and fast drumming, th e chunky technical riffs and everything else we expect from a band within the genre. We get absolutely no surprises, we get no new ideas, it is the same as so many other bands. It is difficult to argue that this band has anything special to offer, even their cover feels like it is stolen or borrowed from other bands, just like the four songs.

Now, the brutal death metal usually doesn’t offer much in terms of freshness, but there is probably room to do more exciting stuff for the one that dares to think outside the box. I often try to think of things to compare uninteresting new releases to, and I went with the idea of making a new iPhone that works exactly like the existing one, and costs the same, and looks the same, in terms of comparisons this is what this is. Problem is that an iPhone is a usable object, music isn’t, its whole existence is to evoke emotions, and an album like this is more like something from the mass production industry. Just one more pointless product to sell, art should not be mass produced or derivative. If your work doesn’t stand out there is no need to release it.

While there is no point in releasing Calculating Failure, it is still a decent production with good sound and musicianship. What I can’t figure out is why any band can be satisfied with releasing such derivative works. If it is to have something to play when on the stage, wouldn’t it be better to play the already established highlights rather than weaker copies of it? There is already more than enough stuff released in this genre already, and while Existentia can’t do much about that, they could go back to the drawing board and try some different direction in order to make something that stands out rather than just make up the numbers. Most new music is like plastic bags, used once and then discarded, it is a total waste.

Now, this became a long text about much else than Calculating Failure, but the problem with it is the same as many other albums released nowadays. Musical artists aren’t really creators or artists, they just copy others. So, if you are fine with derivative brutal death metal, this will be an enjoyable album for you, if you are like me and look for fresh ideas it will not be particularly interesting.