The Gaze Inward
posted on 3/2009 By:
Could anything be more underwhelming at this point than a band aping Dillinger Escape Plan? Even last year, when the subject for today’s review was released, that particular trend had gone cold at least half a decade prior. Obviously not for Hunab Ku though, who appear to have a particular soft spot for DEP’s Irony Is a Dead Scene with Mike Patton (and Sir Patton in general actually). Just about everything on The Gaze Inward from the schizoid grind and Bungle-esque circus antics to the electronics and reverb-soaked, falsetto moments are reminiscent of said EP. Not exactly the best way to win over the jaded metal hack one would assume. Thing is though, this is an annoyingly solid little album (seven songs, twenty-three minutes) which, for a Dillinger fan like myself, is very hard not to enjoy. Hunab Ku (featuring Sleep Terror’s Luke Jaeger on guitar) must have rightly felt that IIADS was criminally short and decided to finish it, and they’ve done a very slick job of it too. “Houdini’s Achilles Heel” crams in about as much in the way of manic twists and turns as any band could into six minutes, yet the end result is so catchy, inspired and complete. And just to make things a little sweeter, there are a few choice death metal-isms thrown in for good measure (most notably on the terrific “Pecking Out My Stained-Glass Eyes”) that only adds to the enjoyment factor for me.
Though I’m sure Hunab Ku would like to be seen as genuinely ‘wacky’ or somehow existing on the fringes of extreme metal, don’t be fooled friends. On the contrary, this is actually quite safe and little more than hero worship of the highest order. Thankfully for me, I happen to love what these guys love, and therefore have no problem in being thoroughly entertained by such plagiarism when done this well. It’s inevitable and completely necessary for Hunab Ku to grow beyond this derivative sound but for now, The Inward Gaze is superb fun.
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