CD REVIEWS ISSUE 13 Page 6
By Bob Nalbandian
THE GREAT DEPRESSION
Blindside is one of those bands that you either love or hate...and I'm leaning more toward hate. Although much more impressive than their previous releases, The Great Depression opens with the title track intro which takes the listener on an astral adventure that subsequently leads to a modern wasteland of cluster and irate monotony. More alternative than metal, this Swedish (Christian?) outfit do in fact have a somewhat interesting sound, from the hammerhead beats of "This Is A Heart Attack" (perhaps the best track on the disc) to the closing track "When I Remember" this album certainly has its moments, but the tunes soon become tremendously redundant and the vocals excruciatingly annoying. Showing various influences from '90s alt-rock (Primus, Mr. Bungle...) and '80s new wave/pop to the current nu-metal/screamo trend, this CD has no musical direction, no memorable songs, and is just a flutter of awkward lumbering beats and nuisances. Being from Sweden (a country where musicianship is of the highest standard) one would expect this band to be proficient musicians but this certainly is not the case with Blindside as they come across as a glorified garage band. Definitely not one for the mainstream metal fan.
AVARICE & ABSOLUTION
Hailing from Virginia Beach, VA this 5-piece play straight-ahead rock in the vein of Stone Temple Pilots and Fuel with elements of Nickelback & Creed...a very standard practice for today's modern rock/metal band but the fact is Revery are far more impressive than the hordes of major label nu-metal rubbish. The songs are well written and solid and the vocals, courtesy of Jason Martinez, are superlative sounding very reminiscent to Velvet Revolver/STP wailer Scott Weiland. The band ventures into darker territories at times, showing hints of Tool and Deftones, but for the most part Revery play pretty straight-ahead fist-pumping hard rock. Great musicianship as well highlighted by tasteful leads and riff-work from duel axe-grinders Mike Doyle and John Adkins who perform incredible soaring leads throughout tracks like the opener "Look At What You've Done" and "In The Way She." Other notable tracks include "Walk The World," "Secondhand Redemption" and the closer "Which Way To Sunday." All in all, Avarice & Absolution rocks pretty damn hard and, apart from the expected 2 or 3 radio-friendly Creed-influenced tracks, this is one kick-ass album.
THOSE ONCE LOYAL
Formed in '86 Those Once Loyal marks this British band's 8th studio release. The band has pretty much stayed true to their roots since their inception, incorporating more grindcore/death-metal overtones, especially in vocalist Karl Willetts, something I personally see as a major flaw. But thankfully the band still shows traces of early '80s thrash-metal ala Slayer with hints '80s punk/metal. Strong riffs and memorable leads are highlighted throughout this disc, once again, the only downfall being in the vocal department. But then again, I was never, ever a fan of death-metal vocals. Highlights include the opener "At First Light" and "The Killchain."
Shockwaves CD REVIEWS ISSUE 13 Page 7