Release DetailsLABEL Victory
RELEASED ON 4/19/2005
posted on 3/2005 By:
Heavy pounding riffs, steady and brutal drumming, and a tough mentality have me going on California's Sinai Beach. Garnering comparisons to the stylings of Shadows Fall and Lamb of God, they've signed to one of the bigger labels in heavy music, Victory Records, and have toured with the likes of Bleeding Through, Norma Jean, and Throwdown. I should've known something was up, seeing as how their label's press release cites their influences as Meshuggah, Slayer, and Pantera. That sounds great, in theory. I guess maybe I could've figured out that this was something that'd piss me off by looking at the bands they've toured with.
Unfortunately, all goes well up until the clean vocals, which were pointed out to me by another MetalReview.com writer as being very......what's a delicate way to put this? I guess there isn't one. They sound like Danzig. While it isn't a factor that makes or breaks the album, hearing them so prominently in the first real song, "Obedience Through Desecration", makes me nervous about the rest of the album. "The God I Would Be" goes back and forth between two tempos before settling into a mid-paced section where those plaguing vocals return. Throughout the entire song, I feel like I'm waiting for it to actually start; for a band with the direct-approach of Sinai Beach to pussyfoot around for so long without giving you anything great to grasp on to is a particularly unwise move. There's some minor buildup to a melodic and slightly dreamy passage, but truthfully, I wish the entire song was eliminated off the face of the earth. Graciously the band unleashes "Necessary Bloodshed" to quell the urge for some identifiable and relatable aggression, but I'm afraid the flow is interrupted by the return of those vocals - only this time they're back with an effect placed on them. "To The Church" starts out with electronic arpeggiating and continues into the initial riff, fooling me into thinking it's going to sound like a metalcore version of In Flames. To a degree, it does, as the mismatched keys disappear until the clean-sung chorus comes in once more - what a let down.
It appears my reservations about the clean vocals were totally founded, as by the time the sixth track rolls around, I feel like I've already heard everything they're singing. And that's probably because I have, because every single Danzig-esque melody is performed with the same predictably stretched vowel sounds and lasts for the same duration. It reminds me of Nelly, and the way that guy only raps in one scale. Not that I know anything about music from a technical standpoint, but I'm able to tell what the hell sounds the same. I'm bothered by the continual mistakes in production - does Sinai Beach have a DJ or something? Why is occasionally crushing and mosh inducing material mixed with lame electronic parts? Maybe for the same reason it's mixed with hit-of-the-minute Killswitch Engage garbage.
Why can't every song sound like "Hell Blaze"? There are no bad synths, no poorly thought-out vocals, just aggressive and thunderous and respectable thrashy shit with perfectly played artificial harmonics. Or even the first half of "Ignoring The Conditional Response", which is short of incredible, but completely punishing until the cheesy singing comes in.
I'm afraid I'm pretty dissatisfied with Immersed. What could've been a pummeling and skilled release has been reduced to a limited and "catchy" album for inexperienced listeners of hard music. This does absolutely nothing for me. I don't mean to be vicious or anything, but there's few worse things than hearing a band that could be great get completely ruined by unthinkably bad moves in production and songwriting. But hey, I'm sure they'll get plenty of hits on their MySpace page, sell a lot of merchandise, and continue feeding Victory Records with a bafflingly large sum of money. Whether it's pressure from the label, a controlling band member, or the entire group themselves, all I have to say is - way to fuck up something good. Staring over the ledge of success, you've dug your own graves, gentlemen.
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