Sunday, August 9, 2009

Uneven-Vrzino Kolo-84%

Well well well, what do we have here? A metal band from the lonely wastes of Serbia? It boggles the mind! Uneven thunders into the well trodden genre of progressive metal, and they actually succeed, without being Dream Theater clones. No, far from copying the prog masters, they blaze their own path, utilizing strange time signatures and blistering guitars in the process. However, they do have their weak points as well. As this is such a short EP, I will do a track by track review.

First off, the title track, Vrzino Kolo. The guitars are quite fast and heavy, painting a brutal landscape on the listener's ears. That aside, the riffs are actually a bit happy sounding, instead of the normal dark sound. The drums are also quite good on this track, as he plays in some odd time signatures (I believe this one was 7/8?). And here comes the real shocker...the bass is audible! He is actually good, and doesn't just play the same thing as the guitars, instead making his own patterns that go well with the music. This track is an instrumental, so there are no vocals yet.

The second track, entitled "Nights In The Club" is a bit weird. The lyrics are all about clubbing, which I would never expect in a metal record. That being said, this song is more brutal than the last, with the guitars using rapid tremolo picking, and the drums following along on the double kick drums. The bassist, instead of doing his own thing, decided to lower his volume and just add to the brutality and heaviness, which I did not like. But my main gripe is the vocals. Blehhhh. He's really not that good of a singer, and some harsh vocals a la black metal would work better here. Overall a pretty good song though.

Here is the "Angel of Death" of this EP, the chaos invoker, the controversy causing song. USSR. This is the heaviest song on the record, and my personal favorite. It starts off with some sound bites from various USSR and UN transmissions about the Berlin Wall and the Nuclear Weapons Treaty. Then, Uneven roars into the verse with a heavy as lead riff with a pinch harmonic for good measure. The drummer does some very talented double kick rolls and patterns, while the guitars are perfectly synchronized, and the bass is audible again. The best segment is at the end, where they have a speed breakdown with a very talented solo. My only gripe is the song is too long and a bit repetitive. But, still good overall.

Next up is probably the worst track on the EP, Uneven. While it does have a pretty catchy riff, it repeats. Over and over and over. The chorus is quite irritating too, with the line "Round round round, what's that sound?" and such. However, what redeems this song is the solo. The fastest one on the album, it brings this song back from the pits of hell and makes it bearable.

And lastly, Fire In The Hole. Thank goodness, this song is much better than the last. It's quite funny, talking about weed and drinking in the beginning. The guitars are notible, they have some good riffs. The bass has decided to be audible again. And the vocals are better in this song than any other track on the album. Overall good.

If you like progressive metal, pick this album up. It's heavy and it has generally good riffing. Many metal fans will brush this off because of the vocals, but if you can get past those, it's quite a good piece of musicianship.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Humanity Will Suffer-Demo 2009-77%

Ahh, brutal death metal. Aside from death/metalcore, this could be the most controversial and hated genres in all of metal. But I managed to track down this band, Humanity Will Suffer, from chilly Ontario. But despite their cold location, the music they put out is anything but drab, dull, and flat. However, they could use more direction in their work.

First off, the guitars. The first word that will come to your mind is lead (the metal), because these guitars are tuned really low. The riffing is pretty standard for brutal death, but it works and the speed is insane.
The one thing that brings the guitars down is the substandard production. Given, they are an unsigned band, but making the guitars a bit crisper would greatly increase the brutality and quality of the songs.

The bass. It's there. But it's really not too audible, instead adding low end and increasing the overall level of brutality and heaviness. Not much more to say.

The drums are a whole other bag of chips. This drummer is quite good. He's fast and pretty technical too. But he needs to TURN THE SNARE DOWN. That being said, I like the drums. His fills are timed pretty well, there were a few places where he got off tempo, but the recovery was almost immediate. If HWS mixed the drums a little bit better, the album would sound amazing.

Aaaaaaaaaand the vocals. This guy sounds like Chris Barnes from Cannibal Corpse/Six Feet Under. The typical pattern is alternating from low "cookie monster" growls to harsh high vocal. He also tends to throw pig squeals in there, which are extremely annoying. Mostly he stays away from the highs, though, which is good, because they are not his strong suite.

The song structure is generally similar for the 3 songs on this demo, but all the riffing is different. The main drag on this album is the breakdowns. These are where the guitars slowwwwwww down, and the vocals change to the annoying pig squeals. Minus that, the demo is fairly good. If HWS progresses as bands such as Cannibal Corpse did, the metal community is in for a real treat in the genre of brutal death metal.