Flesh And Blood Robot
The Sounds That Revolvers Make
posted on 12/2005 By:
Anyone who regularly reads the heavy metal press knows that it’s easy to become inured to the jargon that pervades virtually all discussion of our beloved genre. The metal scene’s internal lingo is so impenetrable, so ineffably dense, that its very existence is part of metal’s insular niche status. Newcomers attempting to learn more via reviews and interviews are confronted with a wall of terms like “technical blasting death” and “pinched harmonic squeal,” which look fine to us salty veterans but might as well be Martian to the uninitiated. The upshot of this effect is that many new metal fans become familiar with a broad variety of typical terms, descriptions and genre names well before they’ve actually heard examples of any of them. Oftentimes said newbies can fashion rough impressions of a variety of metal subgenres from an aggregate of descriptive clichés without having any real idea of what separates a good band of a given style from a bad one. And finally, we arrive at Flesh and Blood Robot. The Sound That Revolvers Make is, well, not really as such, but is more like a brief compendium of various metallic styles. This band sounds like a collection of standard rock musicians who spent two months reading metalcore reviews and then tried to write songs based on descriptions of the multiple ‘core styles.
It’s all here: Flesh and Blood Robot have slapped together everything from dissonant tech-metal to Shai Hulud-esque emotional histrionics to snappy Gothenburg thrash. Sound pretty typical? Surprise, it couldn't be more so! Like Between the Buried and Me without the instrumental virtuosity, the songwriting here seems to consist of vaguely-related stock riffs drawn from a hat and strung together. Said riffs are very rarely of great quality, and virtually every song features at least one mathy breakdown that sounds filched from a dumpster behind the studio where Curl Up and Die recorded their first LP. Vocalist Fox (I bet this guy hates all of the X-Files jokes) can produce an impressively caustic howl, but the predictable cadences and stylistic switches (guess what, he does death growls during breakdowns) fail to capitalize on the potential. The outcome is a ho-hum collection of tracks that don’t aggravate so much as they utterly fail to hold the listener’s interest. In its defense, The Sound That Revolvers Make features a slightly over-processed but still thick production that would highlight the band’s slamming technical ability, were they to develop said ability.
This is really not awfully offensive stuff, but it’s so goddamn boring, and that’s the cardinal sin for a band trying to build a sound on eclecticism. Surely someone out there will dig this, but do the rest of us really need another metalcore album whose high point is the production job?
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