Elevation Into Disintegration
posted on 7/2005 By:
Grindcore is funny stuff. With its abrupt, chaotic song format and crazier-than-thou mentality, grind fans are forced to look beyond normal evaluation points like riff quality, songwriting skill, and melodic structure when judging the performance of their favorite genre’s acts. In other words, most grind is too much of a goddamn blur to really distinguish from song to song, and in order for a grindcore band to succeed, they’ve gotta make all those minute-long blasts worth anything musically, the overall experience has to be somehow memorable and independent of the individual songs or riffs. In this respect, Ebolie certainly have their hearts in the right place, and the band tries mightily to produce a memorably quirky experience on this 2004 effort. Unfortunately, Elevation Into Disintegration contains neither the chops nor the creativity to deliver much of a blow.
Relying heavily on the genre’s tendency towards humor, Ebolie have produced a characteristically brief nine-track collection of smirking, eclectic grind-based metal songs. The most dominating feature of this album are the sarcastic musical peculiarities that crop up from time to time amidst the band’s otherwise knuckle-dragging sound. While these freakish injections are sometimes fairly entertaining, like the popping funk bass that closes out “Human Error” and the hilariously incongruous opening of “Foetal Grindings,” they’re just as often awkward and sometimes even wince-inducing. “Blood Tapped Skull” contains a turntable breakdown that will likely cause many teeth to grind, and the Star Wars android babble of “Queer Eye for the Metrosexual” is much more disorienting and unpleasant than it is funny. Worse yet, the band’s occasional attempts at serious, genuine riffing are hampered both by the tongue-in-cheek tone of the album and by the band’s somewhat sloppy musicianship. “Queens of the Scene Age,” for example, contains a competently-written Neuraxis-style melodic tremolo blast after the sneering schlock-rock intro, but I was left scratching my head as to whether or not the riff was intended to be taken seriously. Furthermore, the band isn’t particularly tight, and drummer Gene in particular tends to lose pace after sustained blasting; the mistakes are never huge, but in a genre with so many spectacular drummers, it sticks out like a sore thumb. Even Ebolie’s most straight-faced grind outings, like “Rape of Sanity,” simply don’t have the blinding intensity required for efficacy. Even the production is sub-par, with cardboardy drums and dull guitars under wholly unremarkable death vocals.
As hard as I’ve been on it, Elevation Into Disintegration isn’t a total disaster of an album. Any listener is likely to remember at least parts of it for their sheer bizarreness, but no amount of gimmicky tricks can entirely bail out an album. Having been out-humored, out-weirded, and out-played by their various peers, Ebolie doesn’t have a whole lot by which to recommend them. While good grind is dependent on some degree of character to make an impact, these fellows seem to have forsaken fundamentals in favor of goofy styling. If you’re looking for funny grindcore, buy an older Regurgitate or Anal Cunt album, and if you want oddball genre-splicing, pick up a Patton project. This one isn’t worth the effort it’ll take to track down.
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