Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 7/1/2004
Sinning Is Our Savior
Painted With Utter Desolation
posted on 11/2004 By:
Always on the lookout for new and upcoming bands, I decided to tackle this self-released effort from Pennsylvanian four-piece Sinning Is Our Savior. SIOS wants you to know they mean business starting from the moment you hit play. Some quick, flashy guitar work backed by heavy double bass comprises the first track, a short twenty-four second introduction of sorts that is a powerful but misleading intro in regards to the rest of album. The opening riffs remind me of the rather trite, flashy guitar work so-called ‘tech’-metalcore bands are using to provide a momentary attention grabber. However, the short duration of the intro track allowed me to move on with little difficulty and I was pleased to hear the music take a stylistic change in favor of some well-played metal with plenty of melody, thrash, and, yes, ‘technical’ guitar work.
What we have here is potential. As a self-released album, Painted With Utter Desolation allows plenty of room for showcasing this young band’s talent as musicians. With guitar work that definitely caught my attention at multiple points—even bringing to mind at times the work of late mastermind Chuck Schuldiner in Death (referring here primarily to the opening riffs of “WorldWide Antipathy”)—and plenty of speed and interesting break downs for good measure, the potential for something exciting to happen is definitely there. The album is slow to take off, although this is due less to the aforementioned showboating guitar intro track than to a weak first song. Scrap tracks one and two and move onto three (“Mastery Through Slaughter”) where things begin to progress. Opening with a catchy groove-laden chug section with Meshuggah-like undertones, “Mastery Through Slaughter” marks the point on the album where the skill and potential of SIOS begins to come through. There are setbacks, however.
The bulk of the observable talent on Painted With Utter Desolation comes via guitar work (which contributed significantly to musicianship getting a 4.5 and not lower); but as we all know, a band is composed of multiple instruments working together and without a solid instrumental base, even the most skilled individual player will not be able to carry the music on their own. The drum work is feeble throughout most of the album and is carried largely by the frequent (and overly artificial sounding) double pedal work. The delivery on the drums is tepid at best, due in part to a weak recording on the snare and toms, and does little to positively compliment the guitar work except for a few select moments. The vocals sound forced and are never sure which way they want to go on the high/low spectrum. But perhaps most detrimental to the overall quality of this release is the lack of focus in song composition, a problem exacerbated by transfers from part to part that do more to deconstruct the songs than hold them together. There is little flow both within and between the songs and while there are multiple head-turning guitar parts, they are often separated by sections of rather uninspired work. Yet despite these shortcomings, and in no small part due to the above-average guitar work, Painted With Utter Desolation holds together well enough for a self-released band of mostly twenty-one and twenty-two year olds selling their full-length album for a mere five bucks.
The recording as a whole is clear enough to display the fun guitar work and the levels are solid throughout except for the occasional lead guitar part that is lost in the rhythm guitar’s distortion. The individual instruments are under produced which is most noticeable in the drums and vocals and this lower sound quality detracts from the added punch this album could afford. The episodic breakdowns end up sounding clear and concise, but the faster sections of the album, of which there are many, often lose their footing.
This album deserves attention in the underground scene if for nothing more than giving due praise to the mature dual guitar attack. With the sorely needed fine tuning of song writing and more confidently delivered backing instrumentation willing to take more risks, Sinning Is Our Savior could prove to be a band worth keeping an eye on.
Register to post comments.