This War Will Last Forever
posted on 9/2006 By:
God, reviewing this kind of album pains me. Metal writers are well-known for their tendency to overuse superlatives, but even we’re stymied by the kind of release that Mendeed has here submitted for criticism. I mean, hyperbole and overblown metaphors are great and I’ll fall back on’em once in a while just like most hardworking music writers, but what kind of superlative do you use to describe extreme mediocrity? How are we supposed to make something an interesting read when you’ve been trying to make that same thing an interesting read over and over again for months? Curse you, Mendeed, for making my job harder, and curse you again for producing such pedestrian music despite your obvious skill.
I’ll be blunt (‘cause I haven’t already or anything); you have ABSOLUTELY heard this all before. This War Will Last Forever is yet another study in the big-budget school of American neophyte metal, and you would have to be living under a fucking rock to not know what that entails. The riffing alternates between needling melodeath/thrash that stylistically hails from a certain major Swedish city (hint: not Stockholm), the chunky breakdowny grooves crawled out of the warehouse where Victory Records keeps their back catalogue, the soloing is flowery and pristine and makes the rhythm phrasing feel that much more Metallica-y, and the vocals alternate between…well, what the hell do you think they alternate between? Either they sound like Tompa or like a Howard Jones-approved chorus if good ol’ Howey needed ProTools to stay on key. The production is so clean that I can see the sun reflecting off the air when I spin this album. Goddammit, I hate being so dismissive of Mendeed when every sign says the band put in truckloads of time and energy while recording This War Will Last Forever, but I’m left with no choice when the band in question dumps all that oomph into aesthetic and tightness and leaves none for the actual creative process. Everything on this album reminds me of other bands, and a very small and closely related set of other bands at that—the soloing is Shadows Fall, the breakdowns and much of the riffing is Unearth, and even the rather high-quality drumming is a little too Chris Adler-esque to really fly...on top of the usual As I Lay Dying mega-triggering. The only two things that set Mendeed aside as far as I can tell are their dressy, stylish clothing—oh wait, that’s Akercocke, strike one—and the fact that, despite sounding so absurdly American, this band is British. Presumably this is Nuclear Blast’s attempt to break the profitable metalcore scene out of Germany and into other parts of the region, and they could’ve done worse, but I’d like to think they could’ve done a lot better.
I’m almost completely frustrated by this style of metal, and the only thing that’s keeping me from the brink is the knowledge that it will eventually peter out. Mendeed is truly made up of high-end musicians, and my hope is that when this latest trend has finally died (we’ve all been predicting it for years, I know), they’ll be forced to forge out into more creatively stimulating territory. This will last forever? I certainly hope not.
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