Schastiye Dlya Vseh
posted on 4/2010 By:
When I saw the name Beheaded Zombie in our review reservation queue here at Metal Review, I assumed the group would turn out to be another gore-obsessed brutal death metal band. I was wrong. The fact that all song titles and lyrics on Beheaded Zombie’s Schastiye Dlya Vseh are in Russian prevents me from determining the nature of the band’s lyrical inspiration, gore-oriented or otherwise. However, I can say that, from an instrumental standpoint, Schastiye Dlya Vseh is far from standard fare. The band’s angular, technical, yet highly melodic sound creates a death metal experience quite unlike anything I have heard before.
I once heard jazz described as "five guys playing different songs at the same time," a description that could well be applied to Schastiye Dlya Vseh. The album’s songs are complex, meandering affairs: the guitars and bass weave intricate patterns of spiraling melody and harmony, shifting constantly from jarring and dissonant to ethereal and sublime. The band is equally adventurous with its tonal palette, employing standard distortion, bell-like cleans, shimmering chorus effects, as well as many more bizarre and indescribable tones. This musical alchemy results in sounds that seem, at various points in time, to be emanating from underwater, outer space, and the depths of Hell. The drumming in contrast to the stringed instruments is closer to the traditional death metal sound, providing a sort of anchor for the band's flights of fancy, but still possessing enough finesse to take wing when needed.
Cohesive songwriting always seems to be a problem fro the technically adept, and Beheaded Zombie is no different in this regard. The music on Schastiye Dlya Vseh seems to meld into one big chaotic but beautiful mess, to be enjoyed from moment to moment, rather than as individual three- or four-minute compositions. Although I confess that Beheaded Zombie’s music may make some sort of grand musical sense that my unsophisticated ears fail to grasp, I do feel that I have a solid hold on what makes good death metal, and in this area, I find Beheaded Zombie somewhat lacking. The band’s progressive explorations are dazzling, but the conventional death metal elements seem almost vestigial. The album is short on thick, heavy riffing, which is not unexpected given the band's prodigious talent in other areas, but a little more effort in meting out some good, old-fashioned punishment would strengthen this album's appeal to traditional death metal fans such as myself.
Truthfully, I feel like I will need more listens to determine if Schastiye Dlya Vseh is a truly great album or just a unique and intriguing one, but either case puts it far ahead of most of the records I review. Fans of off-beat, experimental, progressive and technical metal, from Demilich and Gorguts to Cynic and Atheist are advised to check this one out.
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