The progressive metal scene has been inundated with “djent” bands in recent years, especially since the breakout success of Periphery in 2010. With so many bands keen to emulate that sound it can become rather difficult to stand out from the crowd, rather than simply become another drop in a flooded pool of bands. Momentary, from Paderborn in Germany, recently released their debut EP “The Inside” and are hoping to make a name for themselves in such a competitive scene.
From the off, it appears that Momentary aren’t looking to rewrite the rulebook with this release. The songwriting is tight and the guitarists certainly know what they’re doing, but their djent-meets-metalcore formula is something that we’ve all heard a hundred times before. This isn’t to take away from the band’s music, though, as songs like “Substantiate” are a fantastic display of the band’s talents. “Soak and Thrive” shows a more complex side to their writing with jagged rhythms and riff patterns harking back to the earlier djent influences of Meshuggah. Frontman Jan Bongartz shines on this song as his deep, guttural vocals take this song to the next level. However, Bongartz seems rather content to use the same vocal style throughout the EP with little desire to change things up and adapt to the band’s more melodic moments.
Production wise, the vocals seem to suffer too as they feel somewhat out of place in the mix, while the bass is non-existant. Overall it ticks along nicely but you can’t help but feel that the production could be slightly better at times to properly take in what this band has to offer. However, the principal issue is that the band lacks any real unique selling point. Momentary know what they’re good at and stick to it rigidly, but in such a diluted scene that won’t get them very far. Band with a USP are able to rocket to the spotlight and without any sort of variety or something to challenge listeners, Momentary risk becoming just another djent band. This EP sets out a solid foundation with which to build on, though, and with the talent at their disposal you know that they can reach the next step if they really pushed themselves.
Overall, this is a solid, if somewhat uninspired, debut EP from the German quintet. The musicians know exactly what they’re doing and provide a punishing brand of progressive metalcore, however, if they want to make a name for themselves then they’re going to have to try to find that X factor to truly make them stand out.