Release DetailsLABEL Crash Music
RELEASED ON 10/5/2004
posted on 10/2004 By:
Oh Tartharia. Who are you and why have you done this to me? In the past, I've gotten a lot of shit from readers and fellow reviewers alike for giving poor scores and being needlessly critical of certain bands. Bands that I felt deserved it. Which is why I'm really at a loss here, as I want to tear apart Tartharia, but I know it's not right. They actually show a bit of promise.
Beginning with a cheesy instrumental introduction, I don't get the greatest initial feeling from Abstract Nation. The first real track, "Misery My Loneliness", is somewhat of a mixture of slower melodic thrash riffing and black metal breaks. It's very mid-nineties. The awkward and unnecessary keyboards are what really detract from what would be a pretty typical melodic death metal album; keyboards which range from "fair" to "hilarious". I also can't really get behind the female vocals on "At Every Step" which precludes a fairly good 80's Megadeth riff before plodding along into a cumbersome viking metal melody. Luckily though, they later make up for it by producing an excellent riff of the same style. The drum machine programming is definitely a real setback for me as it's completely unconvincing as a real drummer, giving Tartharia's music a sterile and boring twist. On the bright side though, they've got a real inclination towards actually using their bass for more than backing the rhythm guitar along with some competent leads. At times I'm utterly confused as to what sort of decision making process was going on at the time like at the end of "VI Feet" where the song spontaneously falls apart into sparse drumming and picks back up into a sludgy, yet upbeat, guitar riff. Whether intentional or not, it works as a great lead-in to the next track, "Warlife", their most straightforward track that's again ruined by poor keyboards. But! One extremely noteworthy thing about the album is the song "Stand in the Wind", which is actually quite good with it's blackened rasps and nervous riffing, before returning to a nice familiar In Flames sounding melody. If they can replicate that song or recapture the spirit, they've given glimpses of, they might be able to shake those bad keyboard blues.
The last track, "D.I.", is a really amateur sounding instrumental using only synthesized stringed instruments with the occasional drum crash. And I'd really like to never hear it again. I mean it.
So Abstract Nation isn't terrible. It's just really hard to see where these guys are coming from and what exactly they've set out to accomplish. After hearing it, I'm really not left with any sort of real impression. Give Tartharia some time to work out a few kinks and they might be able to create something great. For the time being though, give them their distance and let them regroup.
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