Release DetailsLABEL Nuclear Blast
RELEASED ON 9/19/2006
Completion Makes The Tragedy
posted on 9/2006 By:
Alright, so here we go with yet another so called “super group” trying to put together another super album. The problem here is someone forgot to warn Coldseed that trying to achieve this daunting task is not an easy feat, mainly due to the fact that expectations tend to skyrocket through the roof and then some. Of course when things go sour the band and its members usually get blasted, and in most cases that negative criticism is well earned. These all-star lineups generally look somewhat awe-inspiring on paper and get the fans hyped for game day, but when it finally comes time to step up to the plate and take a swing, you find yourself witnessing that talent falling down flat and not meeting those expectations. Such is the case with this super group’s debut release, Completion Makes The Tragedy.
Coldseed is the brainchild of drummer Thomen Stauch (formerly of Blind Guardian/currently with Savage Circus) and Björn “Speed” Strid of Soilwork fame. Although the group flirts around with a plethora of different sounds on the album, the foundation of the band’s music leans more toward Soilwork than anything else. As if that band couldn’t sound any more watered down these days, Coldseed have in essence made that a reality. But the slight differences are many and the most noticeable is in the experimentation with different vocal styles than we’ve heard from Strid over the past decade or so. His growling ability is still intact yet continues to get milder with age. Where the cleans are secondary while at his day job, his newly attainted part-time job sees them become the main focus. Coldseed also sees him incorporate some softly spoken word moments, some hardcore howls, and he has brought a surplus of backups into the fold. Anything from dirty growls panned right/left with cleans coming dead center, not to mention plenty of vocal harmonies all over the place. He has certainly brought his game to another level, and it's clear he is the main focus on the album.
Thomen Stauch fans may come away from this somewhat disappointed. The drumming is solid, but it is nowhere as lively as we’re used to hearing from Stauch. Basically he’s simply supplying basic beats for the music and never really does anything that makes your ears perk up. I’m not sure if he’s using electronic drums on certain songs or if it’s a studio trick, but there is an almost techno sounding vibe at times. While you might expect the keyboards to play the simple role of atmosphere, Mi Schüren plays around with bringing out many different sounds spawning a Nine Inch Nails/techno dance club like vibe to the mix. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not talking Pain here, but at times it’s very close. Throughout much of the album his keys will mimic the guitars giving them an almost synth-like feel. But where that synth sound works well for a band like Type O Negative, it really weakens the overall guitar sound here. The guitar sound comes across in the mix fairly well, but I would have expected a little more of a hefty punch. Not even the bass, which is played very fluidly throughout, helps the cause as it is somewhat hidden in the mix. The lead playing is stout and impressive throughout containing the perfect amount of wankery, but with the lack of memorable hook in the songwriting they might as well not even be there at all.
There aren’t any real standout tracks I can pick out and recommend. One side of the coin says that they are equal in stature and one may take that as a good thing. My side of the coin says that they are all just so different from each other that I’m not sure where the band is going half the time or which type of fan they are trying to target with this album. I don’t know if that was by design or if there was some indecision and just a lack of focus during the songwriting process. Songs like "Five More To Fix" and the album's title track have some speedy and aggressive thrash moments that come across as the kinds of songs you’d expect from the band. Other songs like "Burning With A Shade", "On My Way", "Vulture Of The Throne" & "At Last" have an almost Nu-American in a Korn-esque type feel with a lot of weird noises and basic chunkety-chunk open note riffing. The two slower, ballad-esque tunes are "Democracy Lesson" (probably my favorite) and "Reflection". In my opinion these might be the two songs the band should base future works around because they seem more focused and are two of the more attention grabbing songs on the album. Even if they’re the type you’d use to serenade your significant other. An entire album written with these two songs in mind would be much more enjoyable than wondering most of the time where in the hell the band is going.
Like I stated above, after repeated listens I still can’t say for sure what type of audience the band is targeting with Completion Makes The Tragedy. And in the end I get a feeling that there is a complete lack of direction amongst this outfit and I'm left scratching my melon to no avail. Sometimes you feel as if they’re on the right track, yet other times you just shake your head in wonder. I personally wasn’t completely sold on the route Soilwork took after releasing what I feel is their masterpiece in The Chainheart Machine. This is no Soilwork clone by any stretch of the imagination, but I would have guessed that this is what that band would be sounding like five or maybe even ten years from now. So give "Speed" credit for releasing this under a seperate name. But in the end even that won't earn any extra credit from me, however, if you are of the type that liked that direction or if this review has piqued your interest then this album may be something worth looking into.
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