Release DetailsLABEL Cult of Noise Records
RELEASED ON 5/9/2006
One From None
posted on 6/2006 By:
When forming a band, one of the most important things you can do is get together in the same place at the same time to rehearse and to record. I can't stress this enough, especially if your aim is to play relatively complex riffs with tough time signatures. If you don't do this you, it will end up sounding very, very bad. You can write the best riffs on earth individually, and you can learn them perfectly individually, but if you never meet face to face it will not sound good. It will sound sloppy and thrown together.
Now I am not saying the reason Noise Cult sound so utterly amateurish is because the members have never met in person, but that would be the kindest way to criticize this record. If they do rehearse together...my fucking God, what is wrong with them? The opening guitar riff of "The Serpent Rises" is a tough one, and it sounds like the guitarist is barely keeping up with himself, but when the rest of the band kick in it becomes like listening to a Jr. High band's first time playing with each other. It's really bad.
It gets a little better on the next track, but mainly because there is nothing particularly difficult going on in the composition. This works to the band's advantage, but it also illustrates their other weakness: they aren't very compelling to begin with. I have heard a great many metal bands that never got recorded and deservedly so, and this band sounds like them. This is just poor music. I really don't know how else to put it.
In the talent department, there is some room for optimism. If you look past the terrible recording, the members each seem fairly capable, especially the drummer. The singer has an average metal voice, gruff but not annoying... but can we all stop the Anselmo spoken mumbles now? It has not been working... well, ever. Anselmo sounded mentally handicapped when he did it, and those that bite him sound like people who aspire to one day become mentally handicapped as way to rise above their current status of playing with their own feces. One thing that band really does well is swing. On songs like "Scars" they develop a good groove and hit it hard. It lifts the whole song above the others and perhaps the band should look into how and why this works for them in preparation for the next batch.
The production is godawful. It would have sounded insipid in '83. In '06 it sounds positively shitty. It really does sound like it was done on a Trax 4 track in Steve's basement one instrument at a time; uneven, unmastered and really sophomoric.
The bottom line is that this is not a band the metal community as a whole needs to look into, at least not at this point. They are adding nothing to the scene and really kind of set it back a couple of decades, but not in a good way. If the band works hard at its few strengths, gets away from the trad fetish and develops a more stylized approach they could work themselves into something deserving another look. There are some interesting ideas here, but I can't recommend a record based on a couple of high points. Far too unrefined, far too sloppy and far too undeveloped, you are better off passing on this one.
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