Patterns Of Reprisal
posted on 3/2008 By:
Alright, Ekser. This is some peppy, new-school, Americans-channeling-Sweden execution. It's punchy, precise, and...ah, predictable; extremely predictable. In spite of their skill, this band's straightforward, paddleslap melodic death metal attack cannot overcome a huge hurdle: it's a total clone of The Black Dahlia Murder. While I'm sure that the band didn't actively seek to be tarred with this unfortunate feather, it is an unavoidable tag. And that's kind of a shame, for a couple reasons. The first? Five or six years ago, this would've been seen as a burst of fresh awesomeness instead of a platter of predictability. The second? These dudes have chops. They show some serious flashes of quality on this debut full-length. Namely, on the captivating instrumental "Redemption" and the violently intense final fifteen seconds of the title track, where they capture a Hate Eternal level of ferocity that would boost them up a notch if they applied it more liberally.
Patterns of Reprisal treads familiar ground, and albums that walk this path need to stomp down hard in order to keep the listener from getting antsy. Ekser, at this current juncture, don't have the jackboots to kick out from the crowd, make their mark, and stand taller. Other lower-profile American bands of this ilk, namely The Fifth Sun and Empyrean Eclipse, simply bring more weight --not to mention creativity-- to the table. The band is currently shopping for a new bassist and vocalist, and finding a mic jockey with some personality would do wonders for their attack, because the dude doing the high/low Trevor Strnad aping falls flat here.
Bottom line: There's nothing on Patterns of Reprisal that hasn't been done better elsewhere (irony?). Potential resides here; a kickass, memorable death metal album does not.
Sweet logo, though.
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