posted on 5/2005 By:
The flagship band of Shawn Crahan’s (better known as Slipknot’s Clown #6) fledgling Big Orange Clown Records is New York’s Gizmachi, a band that sounds like Slipknot version 2.0. This is NOT reassuring. Like most of our readers, I have been waiting and hoping that nu metal was going the way of the dinosaur, but if Gizmachi are any indication, the new nu metal bands are mutating into something slightly different while remaining entirely commercially viable. While The Imbuing was playing and I was coming to this disturbing realization, I sank a little lower in my chair and allowed myself a vision. It’s like we’re in a video game (lame I know, but stay with me). One of those old school scrolling kind where you clear a stage and have to fight a “boss” at the end before advancing to something better. Well in this game we’re killing off nu metal—and it’s bloody and grimly satisfying work. It takes awhile, but we’re fighting our way through these bands—POW! “Take that Mudvayne”, SPLAT, “Fuck off Mushroom Head!”. So there we are, covered in bloody mask fabric and the stench of impending victory, when IT appears. The nine armed juggernaut boss known as Slipknot. And these fuckers are hard to beat. Not only because they have more talent than all those lesser bands combined, but because they batter you unmercifully with armaments adorned with the reaped musical souls of the twelve to seventeen year old record buying public. After enduring countless hits, we begin to hammer away at the soft underbelly of the Slipknot boss, hoping to expose the weak spot of the beast. But then it happens. The Slipknot boss begins to…produce offspring. Slowly the beast gives unholy birth to miniaturized legions that will continue their aurally offensive assault. And the worst part is that these aren’t clones, but another iteration of the beast—programmed with the one two commercial punch of nu metal and metalcore. Suddenly, we’re surrounded again, all hope of vanquishing the enemy swiftly forgotten. It will be one day, but not today. And I’m pretty sure we’ll have to find a way to defeat Sharon Osbourne before then.
So for the time being we’ll have to live with Gizmachi and the imminent and inevitable arrival of their nu metal brethren. At least these guys are on the heavier end of the commercially viable spectrum. All hyperbole aside, given the choice between this and Eighteen Visions, I’d choose Gizmachi every time. They play a style of aggressive and chaotic, Slipknot-styled metal combined with Dillinger-like start and stop riffing and metal core sensibilities. Sections of the diverse, eight minute “Voice of Sanity” even have a Deftones feel. Much like Slipknot, the full and spastic drumming is easily the standout quality of The Imbuing. The band gets some things right—an off kilter thrashy Messhugah break here, jagged Dillinger riffs there, but these are commonly found influences in metal, and this album rarely rises above the usual fare. This is the kind of music you find on professional wrestling compilations. What drags the band from passable nu-core (if there is such a thing) to gratingly subpar is the vocals. Front man Sean Kane gives a varied performance, alternating between clean sung, growled, screamed and shrieked vocals, and the band weighs in with smooth and melodic clean backup vocals. But vocal patterns like the tired nu metal clichés of soft then screamed lines, and rageful, personal spoken word work are a major letdown. The run of the mill metalcore crooned melodies don’t help either. But as much as anything, it’s Kane’s over the top delivery that acts like a cheese grater on the ears. I appreciate the commitment, but those frequent, way out of control, eye bulging, rectum prolapsing screams just don’t work. It took three tries for me to get through “Wandering Eyes” because of the ridiculous vocal alternations. The midrange gruff delivery works much better, but Kane seems more intent on histrionic variety than effectiveness.
The Imbuing is not likely to be the last we hear from Gizmachi. Time will tell if they will come anywhere close to the success of their stylistic and label progenitors, but this is definitely Headbangers Ball fare. The band does have some talent and the potential to become better. Toning down the vocal histrionics and playing up the aggressive side of the music would help make Gizmachi more palatable, but their current formula will probably achieve the desired directive. Recommended to less discerning middle schoolers and lovers of the ungood of all ages.
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