Release DetailsLABEL Fractured Transmitter
RELEASED ON 5/13/2008
Pitch Black Forecast
posted on 8/2008 By:
Absentee is the debut full-length from Cleveland’s Pitch Black Forecast who are the newest band to make it incredibly difficult to name a band that doesn’t feature Dave Witte or as in this case, Gene Hoglan. Maybe more notable for the Hot Topic crowd is the presence of vocalist Jason Popson formerly of Mushroomhead. Yes, that Mushroomhead. Dez Fafara made a pretty decent transition from Nu to something a little heavier, so this has a chance at being decent, right? I mean Gene friggin Hoglan is in it.
Immediately, the thrashing riffs and intelligible gruff vocals of opener “Atonement” are very reminiscent of a more groovy Shadows Fall and Absentee is off to a promising start. A few tracks later is “Wrapped in Plastic” one of the more caustic, speedy songs on the disc which makes the Human Furnace (Ringworm) guest vocal all the more appropriate and definitely is one of the better tracks herein. Randy Blythe (Lamb of God) makes an appearance on “So Low” mostly in a backing role until the second verse when he takes over the lead and basically makes Popson look bad. The guitars are provided by Nailblack’s Robert Reinard so the occasional hint of blackened melody crops up from time to time as in “Desperation Angel.” About half the time the groovy element of Pitch Black Forecast is in the vein of Pantera or Sepultura ( ie. tolerable) however the other half including “Halt” veers dangerously close to Nu-style riffing more akin to Seether and Staind (read nauseating). And to close things out they butcher the hell out of Thin Lizzy’s “Bad Reputation.” And I mean they truly do disrespect to a great song.
Absentee proves two things to me: 1) Jason Popson is a better vocalist than I had initially thought, but he isn’t as good as Dez Fafara and I’d much prefer DevilDriver 2) Gene Hoglan can’t say no to work (though puts in a decent enough performance to earn a 3 on musicianship). This isn’t the worst record ever but the Nu elements rub me the wrong way and the best vocal moments are provided by guest screamers... that ought to tell you all you need to know.
Register to post comments.