Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 3/1/2005
Down The Drain
posted on 5/2005 By:
Poor Brett Hoffman. In and out of Malevolent Creation, plagued by a series of drug, alcohol, and personal problems, including a brief stint behind bars, if memory serves correctly. Musically, we haven’t heard from him since MC’s 2000 release Envenomed. The band staggered a bit on the solid but not particularly memorable The Will to Kill before hitting their stride once more with 2004’s Warkult. But where oh where has Mr. Hoffman been? Seems he’s been back in New York working on a new project. Actually, he was asked to join the band back in 2004 by an old friend that was playing bass for them at the time. Regardless, Down the Drain will benefit greatly from the name association, even if musically they are not exactly what old Malevolent Creation fans might be expecting on their three song demo.
The band’s bio describes them as “a metalcore band with elements of death-metal, thrash-metal, and hardcore riffs.” Hmmm . . . now I don’t feel so bad for thinking the same thing myself. The first track, “Your Demise” is very metalcore in structure, most notably in the riff progressions and vocal lines. In terms of guitar and vocal tones, it’s all death-metal, although Hoffman doesn’t sound quite as menacing as he did on the classic Retribution album. But, that was ten years ago. Not a bad start, but lets see if they can do better.
Ahhh, this is more like it. “Dying Inside” opens up with some straight death riffing before going into a metalcore style bridge, followed by a more thrashy chorus section. On second thought, a little bit too cut-and-dry. I can’t get behind songs that change up like that, unless it’s some prog-metal where those sorts of changes are necessary to fully get the point across. Still not bad, and we’ve got one more track to go.
I’m immediately skeptical about any track entitled “Everyone’s Fucked”, but this one starts off correcting one of the problems with the previous track by adding a little death to the metalcore for the intro and verse but showing another side with a more straightforward chorus that has some groove to it. A little awkward, but still pretty cool. Speaking of awkward, how about these clean vocal parts during a midpoint breakdown-type section? Not sure who’s doing those, but Hoffman keeps screaming “Everyone’s fucked!” in the background. Interesting but more than a little off-putting.
Down the Drain’s first demo is neither what I expected nor as good as I hoped. However, the real purpose of a demo is to just get some music out there to the people, start creating a little buzz around your hometown and see how far it may spread through underground networks and of course via the internet. For that reason, I won’t come down too hard on the lackluster production (notably, though, the guitars are a bit subdued for this style, and the vocals end up dominating everything). I do like some of the ideas put forth here, though, and Hoffman is one of my favorite death metal vocalists, so I’ll be keeping my eyes and ears on this band in the future. This is metalcore played by death-metal musicians, and I’m quite interested to hear what they could do with a better recording budget and a bit more time together.
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