Call It Anything
posted on 3/2011 By:
Immortal Sense is a Japanese quintet who only sometimes call themselves Immortal Sense, meaning that in their homeland they use the elephant-in-the-room moniker of Enema, but abroad they are Immortal Sense. (Yeah I don’t get it either. Moving on.) On their debut full-length Call It Anything, the band plays a rather easy-to-pigeonhole combination of thrash, melodic death metal and equally melodic metalcore. While there are plenty of riffs and some great leads to be had, there is also nary a thing going on that sets the group apart from the countless acts that have already taken this approach.
Call It Anything starts off in a deceptively ambitious mode with the lengthy “Boukoku no Sanbika.” Beginning with a lengthy (and pleasing) ambient intro, the song then spends time stretching out a long tremolo harmony – one that is used often as the song’s linchpin – before entering an amalgamation of the styles mentioned above. It undoubtedly wears out its welcome once or twice, but it also gives a very strong first impression and tricks the listener into believing that more thought-provoking material is in order.
Unfortunately, it isn’t. The rest is largely a combination of All That Remains-ish melocore (mostly the harmonized bouncy riffs; the melodic metalcore riff in other words), The Haunted-inspired thrash and flourishes of early Gothenburg melodeath. Toss in vocals that sound like Randy Blythe-gone-pit-bull, the occasional blast beat and some very accomplishing soloing and you get the idea. Most of Call It Anything is a matter of balancing the great parts with those that are less so. For example, “Dual” features some absolutely killer leads and tremolo parts, but also boasts some strikingly derivative riffs and sections in which Katsuya Nakaoka’s barked and overwrought vocals are exposed. There are moments that hint at the adventuresome side shown on the opener – linking tracks or the outro to closer “Requiem for Doom” – but overall any attempt at individuality is abandoned as soon as the track switches from 1 to 2.
In spite of the album’s shortcomings, Call It Anything claims for itself a moderate level of enjoyment. There is less than zero going on here that will earn the band recognition past the 100s of acts that have already beaten this style to death, but Immortal Sense should sleep well knowing that they have largely succeeded in doing what they set out to, especially when the vocals dial back and the leads take over. It’s hard to give this an outright recommendation – a slight nudge is more apt -- but fans of the style ought to find the favorable side of the gold-to-crap ratio that is explored all over this one.
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