Release DetailsLABEL Tribunal
RELEASED ON 7/11/2006
posted on 7/2006 By:
A fine if clichéd effort from a band that does the North Carolina metalcore scene proud...
Though the East Coast gets the majority of American metal/metalcore credit, North Carolina could arguably be considered the birthplace for modern metalcore when Prayer For Cleansing issued forth The Rain In Endless Fall back in 1999. Since then, From Here On, Heartscarved, Undying, Bloodjinn, Beloved, Between the Buried and Me, and Glass Casket have all come along and turned the scene upside down (BTBAM) or met with untimely break ups (Heartscarved).
So here comes Burlington’s The Demonstration and they make no bones about their influences; noodling, arpeggio laden, solo heavy, slightly off the wall metalcore/death core with more than just a nod to Paul Waggoner and Co (BTBAM) and due to the aforementioned solos, the record is rather enjoyable as they outweigh the rather tired growling, rumbling breakdowns and typical dissonance. Charles Matheny and David Shoaf deliver lots and lots of very impressive licks and interlaying solos amid the typically gruff and stern metalcore/deathcore.
Getting right to it with the noodle heavy opener “Poisoned By Misfortune”, The Demonstration’s grasp of melody is readily apparent and incredibly well done and displayed amply in each track of Existence. Second track “The Absence of…” initially flirts a little too heavily with off kilter counter rhythms and quirky structures but rights itself about halfway through with more melody teaming solo work and an acceptably hefty breakdown. “Anecdote” initially falters with some odd clean vocals from Trevor Underwood, but ends up delivering some absolutely sumptuous guitar work in its later stages, that’s virtually a Prayer For Cleansing incarnate. The hits keep on coming for the album’s stellar start with “Diluted Perception” which starts off way too much like BTBAM, (which is also a good thing) for their own good complete with alternating angular lurches and spiraling acoustic harmonies.
Now I’m not going to say the album loses steam here, as there are still plenty really nifty moments courtesy of Mr. Matheny and Mr. Shoaf, but the BTBAM influence begins to get a bit heavy handed and slightly too obvious (again not necessarily a bad thing), but as much as I enjoy the often incessant layering and arpeggios, I keep thinking of BTBAM and Prayer For Cleansing. The jazz break in “The Inner Workings of the Human Psyche Bent of Devastation” and forced discordance of “Interlude to Comfort” being particularly guilty. That being said, “The Erotic Side of Cannibalism” , the sheer melodic gallop of “A Constant State of Repetition” and closer “Facedown and Still Smiling” do provide some late album highlights worth sticking around for.
Other than the reliance on Prayer For Cleansing/BTBAM tones, my only minor beef with an otherwise superb record is Jamie King’s production, arguably his worst effort that gives Trevor Underwood an almost canned, forced, hollow growl and the drums and bass little depth. But that does not stop this from being an almost revitalizing and excellent release from Tribunal Records.
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