The name of the album comes from a reference to the environmental crisis which is happening to this planet as we speak (unless you are a world leader, in which case, money comes before the planet, but that’s for another day) and is what scientists call ‘the sixth mass extinction’ If all this sounds a bit bleak, well, it’s supposed to, this is an album which is a wake-up call, a call to arms and it demands you pay attention to it.
This whole backstory wouldn’t mean a great deal if the music didn’t back it up, and it’s here that the album really shines, in a very dark and doomy way. The first song Incubation sets the scene with delicate guitar parts over and ambient passage, the calm before the storm if you will. Then first song proper Incubation kick in with a Sabbathian low end crunch, rolling forward like an unstoppable wave. Prodromal (the period between the appearance of initial symptoms and the full development of a rash or fever apparently, see, you learn things on this album) comes next and serves up some more riffs to carry you along further down the rabbit hole, rattling along before letting you breath halfway through with a clean section complete with a sample about infection.
The whole atmosphere of this album is suffocating in the way it wraps you up, spins you round and pummels you until you come out the other side a wiser person for the experience. The album flows in a way which is intoxicating and it’s this flow which elevates this album into spectacular territory. Occasional rays of gossamer delicate melody punctuate it’s run time, take the dream-like ‘After the Thaw’ for example. The peaks and troughs across the whole length of the album are a constant joy and each note and placement has been thought about.
This is an album meant to be listened to in one sitting. It’s not essential you understand the context behind the album, indeed, if you disregard it entirely and just appreciate the music, you can’t help but be swept along for the ride. It does help to get the most out of the listening experience though if you put in a touch of effort, and once you do, you won’t regret it as this album is utterly essential, highly recommended.