Sons Of The System
posted on 1/2010 By:
Somewhat shockingly, Mnemic have made it to album number four. Not quite as shockingly, Sons of the System is just as shitty as their previous three. Like cockroaches, the band is as resilient as they are revolting, and as a result, we're reviewing yet another Mnemic album in 2010: this one littered with song titles like "Diesel Uterus" and "March of the Tripods" and crammed with leftover mallcore riffs that boast all the sparkle and sheen of Coal Chamber's tour bus floor. Their gimmick should have had run its course by now, but their self-styled status as "one of Metallica's favorite bands" (a fact they certainly aren't shy about ramming down your throat) has given their career some serious legs. So, if you were running low on reasons to be pissed at Metallica after Death Magnetic, there's some ammo. Fire at will.
For the uninitiated, Mnemic are unabashed ripoff artists, and they usually reach for comically inappropriate source material. When they're fleecing Fear Factory, they're culling from Digimortal. When they're stealing from Soilwork, it's Stabbing the Drama. They're like little kids tracing outlines of Hi and Lois, then begging for gold stars with pleas and cries, "Look! Look what we did! It's special!"
And it’s quite tragic, because they really think they're doing something special, but their self-proclaimed Future Fusion Metal sounds more like the friction produced from a dispassionate foreskin docking between Sevendust and Sybreed than anything vital or unique. It's industrial metal in only the loosest sense, as their electronic embellishments are more fey and flighty than cold and crushing. Perhaps sensing this glaring lack of sonic weight, Mnemic have taken a low-flying, pseudo-prog angle on Sons of the System, morphing into a lite-rock Scar Symmetry. Translation? Hollow hooks are crammed into any crevice they'll fit. Admittedly, Guillaume Bideau's clean vocals are the band's only strength, and Mnemic have made a shrewd move by showcasing them. To make his flaccid nu-bark the crux of their pillow-fisted attack would be disastrous. Much like everything else about Sons of the System.
Faults are numerous and frequent, but allow me a microcosm for the greater atrocity: The opening of "Climbing Towards Stars." This laughable (seriously, I actually laughed involuntarily, and quite heartily) detuned groove "riff" would've sounded stale back when chain wallets were fashionable. (For being the purported purveyors of 'Future Fusion Metal,' they certainly take a lot of cues from stale-ass, jumpdafuckup days gone by.) Ironically, this is the most memorable part of the album, but for all the wrong reasons. The first half of Sons of the System is a jagged, scotch-taped collection of ill-fitting ideas, while the second half devolves into a migraining morass of blunt redundancy with "Hero(In)" and "Elongated Sporadic Bursts."
Instead of spouting more mean-spirited, self-serving rhetoric, I’ll just lay it out: Unless Six Feet Under pulls another covers album out of their asses this year, this will go down as the worst high-profile album of 2010. If you like real heavy metal, you’ll hate this album. Don’t listen to it. Not even once. Want some crushing, complex rhythms? Listen to Meshuggah. Want soaring, catchy melodeath? Listen to Disarmonia Mundi. Want intense industrial metal? Listen to the new Fear Factory, which annihilates this fetid scrotum of a record in every fucking aspect. Sons of the System is just another shit-flavored jambalaya of other people's ideas, and somehow, with fistfuls of coattails, Mnemic keeps plugging along. It’s time to pull the plug.
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