Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 12/17/2006
The Great Northern Scenekill
posted on 5/2008 By:
Light and unassuming, the introductory interlude to Senate's debut, The Great Northern Scenekill, falls somewhere between irony and an intentional calm before the storm. Certainly, there is a noticeable contrast between said introduction and the first "real" song, "Victorious Hatred." Sharp contrast often serves a purpose but I fail to find one here, so we're off to a bad start. I am sorry to have to begin on that rather unpleasant note but I feel like I am speaking for the majority of metalheads here when I say I'd rather just jump right into the ugly pit of an album than have to endure another pointless interlude. So, Senate, consider yourself advised for future releases.
The substance of The Great Northern Scenekill lies within its first layer; the riffs. The galloping pace is to be expected. Isn't that par for the course now for modern melodic death metal bands? No, what really defines this band is Jay Siebert's leads and the subtle but often commanding rhythm of the guitars as a whole. There's something about the tone throughout that makes the album easier to digest than the overly ambitious tripe being released by other bands. These guys get in, get out and do the job right without overstaying their welcome, which is more than I can say for most bands too preoccupied with instrumental masturbation to write a damn song. "Queen of Sorrow" is a perfect example of what I am talking about. It clocks in at five minutes but there's a consistent, pulsating riff that maintains a unique vibe and feel that helps define it from the rest of the seven songs. In other words, your reaction the first time around is, "Oh, this is cool." Your second reaction will more than likely be, "Ah, this song...kickass." See that? You recognized the song. High five!
Obviously, the chances that anyone who has listened to a few melodic death metal albums will be blown away by Senate or their first full-length are slimmer than Calista Flockhart's waistline. The trick that makes us forget about Slaughter of the Soul, The Jester Race and The Gallery hasn't been properly executed yet so we'll have to settle for calling this album "promising." Yes, this is a promising debut. There are good songs ("Queen of Sorrow," Crucifixer" and "Whispers") and there forgettable songs (everything else). Without a doubt, there's room for improvement. That said, The Great Northern Scenekill, with an earnest passion and a decent amount of air guitar-worthy riffs, bests releases from most of Senate's peers so this should get a rather confident, but generally unenthusiastic thumbs up from most fans of the genre.
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