posted on 9/2009 By:
Kill/Gore/Sledge, the second album from Florida’s Ares, is a more refined affair than its ham-fisted title might suggest. While the band’s sound is rooted in death metal, Ares lets their songs wander in some surprising directions. Not all these excursions are successful, but the band's willingness to take a chance is refreshing.
Ares possesses significant technical might, allowing the band to craft a symphony of jackhamering riffs that at times flirt with Meshuggah-esque madness, as in the title track “I am the Monster.” Fortunately, the band does not let their technical ability push them into masturbatory territory. “Acid Web” displays some leaden pummeling reminiscent of Vore, but features a clean chorus that seems awkward and out of place. “Crimson Waters” is essentially a melodic death metal track that, again, features some awkward half sung/half growled vocals. The mid-paced “Of Sludge and Grime” gets back on the death metal track until the final minute and a half, when the band introduces some upbeat harmonies and a solo that sounds remarkably like the work of Kirk Hammett, right down to the wah pedal. The instrumental “Book of Spiders” is perhaps the album’s most interesting track: After a minute or so of “spooky” volume swells, the track finally gets underway with slow lockstep riffing over a slinky bass line, the overall effect of which is, in fact, quite spidery.
Ares' chief problem lies in the vocal department: Vocalist/guitarist, Glenn Moore’s voice is better suited to hardcore rather than death metal, resembling Jamey Jasta’s voice more than Frank Mullen’s or John Tardy’s. Moore also brings little of note to the table lyrically, which is not ordinarily a sticking point, but a memorable chorus or two would really help to make these songs into more than a collection of decent riffs. In the end, though, that is what Kill/Gore/Sledge amounts to, a collection of decent riffs by a competent band.
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