Noid's first listen: Review #9


23. Dez. 2005, 7:46

Who?: Psyopus

From: New York, USA

What?: Ideas of Reference

Label: Reflections Records

When?: 2004

General description in terms of genre: Technical Death Metal

Comparison smashing: Dillinger Escape Plan and Necrophagist, plus any one of the hordes of US fag-metal.

How did I come across it?: Recommendations system in Amazon.

Lyrics and vocals: Lyrically, this is so uninspiring... so unoriginal, that it makes you want to emulate them and regurgitate. Although this is Death Metal by all means, they've chosen to go with Metalcore style vocals. Along with this, is Metalcore lyrics. Self-deprecation, depression, self-mutilation... but done in exactly the same manner as 5000 "-core" bands that seem to think it profoundly emotional, engaging, whatever the fuck they think it is. Vocally, they've captured the better qualities of the style and displayed control.

Drumming: Unbelievable. According to something I read beforehand, they turned down Derek Roddy (Hate Eternal) because he wasn't technical enough, and after some reflection, it's evident as to why. Roddy is a pure speed drummer who doesn't alternate things much and relies on blastbeats. The drumming here is just as fast (if not more so) and contains flair virtually unmatched. Multitudes of pattern variations and cymbal work rivalling even that of Tony Laureanos during his period with Nile.

Bass: Competent, and very clean. Keeps up with the guitar turns perfectly and breaks away quite often to create some interesting syncopation. Much more usage of the fretboard than most metal bassists.

Guitars: Frenetic. They carry a high level of quirk factor, but never descend to useless wank. One would be forgiven for interpreting them as endless soloists, but they work together and play off eachother constantly with only a few true solos. The majority of their input is high up, focusing on harmonics and circular scaling.

Production: Few effects. Goes against the accepted Death Metal norm of keeping superfluous low end. Most of this has been cut out with positive results. This gives the bass an opportunity to show off its precision, as well as highlight each kick and snare hit, rather than disguising them within five different layers of low end resonance otherwise known within the genre as "brutality" (read: over compensating for lack of ability). Good care has been taken with the cymbals as each bell strike has been captured and not hidden somewhere amongst the trebly guitars.

Noid's verdict: This album would make its way into my Top 20 were it not for the vocals. Although the positive aspects of Metalcore were used, I just can't stand that style or any hint of it. The Devolved vocalist would be perfect for this band. Everything else is pure gold and causes the album to be something worth listening to. Nothing needs to be changed with the production, all instruments shine, and the aggression is maintained.

Verdict in a single sentence: The vocals made me go soft.

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