Release DetailsLABEL Prosthetic
RELEASED ON 3/6/2007
A Symphony of Suffering
posted on 4/2007 By:
Prosthetic isn't the strongest metal record label on the block right now, nor is it the most devoted to promoting underground music. However, in my mind, it has always shown a good ear for quality and a surprisingly willingness to promote weird and eclectic music. A roster that supports acts like Light This City, Kylesa, Yakuza, Wolf, Gojira, and The Esoteric is proof enough that Prosthetic is a label willing to seek out and support quality acts from across the metal spectrum. However, they might have overestimated the abilities of their talent scouts by letting them venture into the realm of symphonic black/death metal, as Southern Florida's Infernaeon don’t quite make Prosthetic's muster in terms or class or consistency.
The first thing that really struck me when listening to “Embodiment of Sin“, the first real song that follows A Symphony of Suffering's orchestral intro, is that the snare drum sounds a dodge ball being repeatedly kicked into a fat kid's stomach. Likewise, there are moments on this album when the drum rolls are reminiscent of a frantically paced game of racquetball. Sporting goods equipment obsessed drum rendering aside, the production here is pretty meaty. The guitars are crunchy and rip right through mix. The dominance of the guitars helps, as this band's youthful enthusiasm for relentless riffing saves this disc from being a complete bore. While there aren't any start to finish rippers on Symphony of Suffering, there are a handful of moments where guitarists Brian Magley and Sam Molina throw down some satisfyingly technical and melodic breaks. However, consistency is the band's issue here, as while they are capable of penning some intricate and memorable riffs, they're also inclined to the strum away at rehashed tremolo black metal cliches. "Oracle of Armageddon," and the aforementioned "Embodiment of Sin," present a hodgepodge of extreme metal influences that are rarely complementary or coherent. Strangely, the band seems to be dually influenced by the tech-death godfather's Suffocation and Symphonic black metal vampires Cradle of Filth. However, the band is only proficient at honoring these influences about half of the time; this results in songs that are inconsistent in terms of both vision and quality. "Sleeping God," is indicative of this band's lack of songwriting continuity, as meaty and complex guitar breaks and haunting melodies both only briefly surface in the mire of flittering keyboards and dogged tremolo riffing.
Maybe Prosthetic have made a wise investment here, as with a little more time in the oven Infernaeon might be ready to make a damn fine album. Right now though, I just don't get this pairing. Unlike the bulk of Prosthetic's roster, Infernaeon are artless, inconsistent, and unfocused.
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