Release DetailsLABEL Scarlet
RELEASED ON 3/21/2006
posted on 3/2006 By:
Sometimes I don’t know why I even bother stepping outside of my metalcore/death metal/viking metal comfort zone, because I only end up getting my dick slapped. Lord knows I try to be open minded, acceptable to other styles and who knows, even try to expose you, the dear MetalReview.com reader to something outside of your own comfort zone.
First of all how the fuck to you pronounce that name?
Second, why try and make A) Meshuggah’s already over exposed sound commercially acceptable and all proggy and B) basically make Mnemic’s already over done name and brand even more watered down and radio friendly?
Formed with members of defunct Danish rock band Elopa and featuring members of Mnemic on drums and vocals, you can, without too much of a stretch, imagine with SmaXone sound like; yes, a rock version of Mnemic, albeit with a forced progressive touch. So then what does that mean for the uninitiated? Well, it means some semblance of choppy, angular metal, that’s them thrown through a rock filter, primarily clean vocals, pop synths and decomposition of metal structures. If the ballads “Smiling", “I See You” (parts 1 and 2) or wispy “Afterlife” don’t as a full on metal fan, make you barf, then go ahead and purchase tickets to this year's ProgPower USA festival. This album is only metal by the wafer thinnest of reaches and (more than emphasized) presence of Mnemic members. Mnemic’s Michael Bogballe provides the rare scream, giving the album its scant ‘extreme’ edge (“Waiting”, "Dead But Alive”), while Claus Lillelund (also of Mnemic) does a majority of the power metal/prog rock crooning.
The thing is, I’ve seen glowing reviews of this thing, mostly from the more prog/rock tolerant European side of things, and I could be in just a bad mood today, as it's possible on a good day and track like the catchy “Waiting” or the aforementioned “Afterlife” may sit better with me. So go ahead and try before you buy and feel free to tell me I missed the mark on this one, and maybe I’ll give it another go. The thing is, there’s some talented musicians behind this thing and I can certainly see why people like it. I’m just not one of those people.
Also, the soft production again further removes this album from metal realms and the techy/cyber elements (“Bad Sensation”) seem to show SmaXone trying their hand at a Fear Factory/SYL sort of undercurrent, further complicating the whole visage.
Go head, step outside your comfort zone and try this. See if you have the same response I did or if I am in fact a musical retard.
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