Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 4/10/2010
Black & White
posted on 8/2010 By:
"No will here to follow a fashion or to stick to a model previously defined.”
Over-reaching statements from band bios are something I typically prefer to steer clear of, as what comes out of the speakers is more important every time, but in the case of France’s Underflesh, their desire to seem individualistic is in such strong contrast to debut EP Black & White that it demanded attention. The truth is that their music is almost frustratingly inoffensive (meaning that you won’t hate it as much as you feel you should), but it is highly derivative, forgettable, and light-years away from the unique qualities implied above.
Underflesh’s MO, whether they know it or not, is to take a well-practiced idea, remove what made it interesting and groundbreaking to begin with, and mix it with similar such ideas, mostly from the 90s. The groove aspects sorely miss the shred appeal of a Dimebag Darrell or Logan Mader. The penchant towards Roots-era Sepultura riffage appears naked without the heart-felt tribal appeal. Death metal aspects (guttural vocals and fat guitar tone) seem sanitized. Even the Meshuggah influence is dumbed-down and castrated. A nu-metal comparison would almost be convenient if the EP created the urge to demolish a stereo, but instead it merely brings the urge to switch the tunes.
It is painfully obvious that Underflesh’s channeling of the 90s was intended to fit in with the recent successes of their countrymen, but it just doesn’t. Next to the sledgehammer pummeling of Gojira, Black & White sounds like the gavel drop of a strangely polite old judge, and the exercises in repetition reach nowhere near the artistic expanses of Hypno5e. There is simply a lot of work to be done, and success won’t be found by tweaking the calculated press statements.
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