posted on 8/2010 By:
After the tragedy that was the latest disc from MyChildren MyBride, my self-inflicted Weekend Of Redundant Metalcore continues—Day Two: this self-titled effort from New York's Severed.
Not to be confused with the defunct Swedish death/grind group or the other American Severed (featuring members of Cianide and Cardiac Arrest), this particular one is a melodic death-metal-soaked metalcore outfit, with a few moments of decency amidst the requisite moments of Gothen-borrowed riffs that turn into single-note breakdowns. Severed is their second full-length release, both independent. Exactly as you’d expect, the vocals range from a hardcore bark to deeper gutturals to blackened screams to an Avenged Sevenfold-leaning clean for the uplifiting arena-rock choruses. Apparently these guys work their native NYC scene pretty hard, garnering some positive press from the more mainstream metal blogs I ran across, but while I commend them for their work ethic, in repeated spins of the disc, I don’t hear anything here that I haven’t heard a dozen times before. Severed brings to the metalcore table absolutely no new twists, no new turns, no new ideas... I could pretty much stop the review right now, and I probably should. (Even though I won't stop writing quite yet, if you stop reading right now, I won't hold it against you...)
For a self-released effort, the production is respectable and punchy enough, and I’ll acknowledge that there is a definite level of musical talent within the band. Whichever of the two guitarists handles the leadwork (perhaps both of them) deserves notice—the guitar leads are melodic, skillfully performed and often the highlight of otherwise unexciting tracks. But the whole affair is so retread, so deep in the shadows of the Autumn Offerings and Threat Signals and such that it’s just an unnecessary repetition of Victory’s victories, another little brother band following exactly in the footsteps of their elders without crossing any line into better, bigger, faster, different, more.
Severed is not as embarrassing as MyChildren MyBride, I'll admit, since the scant ephemeral moments of more straight-ahead melodeath guitar interplay give them a bit of an edge over those perfume-peddling Alabamans—while Severed’s scattered At The Gates moments are still few and weakened, they're at least not laughable. Still, that isn’t enough to keep Severed out of the Great Barren Wasteland Of Third-Tier Soundalikes, and what sporadic fleeting decencies do come around are more than cancelled out by the meathead chugga-low drops, clean-chorus emo-trocities and general Affliction-shirt-wearing vibe of the whole affair.
To put it more succinctly, Severed is medio-core, and you don’t need it.
I'm glad this isn't a three-day weekend.
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