Angel of Disease – Hypercube – 3.5/5
And so with this review I intend to do things a little differently. My style has been stagnating – a matter I have tried to correct in the past – and ultimately they end up formulaic. So in this review you won’t see so much dissection of instruments, nor any ‘technical’ jargon. If the album is dressed up with unnecessary instrumentation like a cheap whore on payday, I’ll tell you precisely that. So now, onto the actual music; that little bit of land between Russia and Turkey – otherwise known as Georgia – is hardly the sort of place you’d think of for progressive death metal. In fact, its not the place you’d think of for anything, and yet this band fulfil both criteria, making them something of a novelty. But here’s the kicker its not actually bad.
Now don’t get me wrong, its not going to be remembered as some classic underground release, nor is it likely to top your ‘favourites’ list, but what it does deliver is some solid music with none of that ‘look how fast I can play’ wankery that all too often comes along for the ride. The speed varies enough to keep my ears perked and those bone crunching addictive riffs get hammered out hard enough and to keep me coming back for more. With plenty of bass and a drummer that knows how to actually drum without just resorting to blast beats every fucking second of every song, you’d think everything would be awesome right? Not quite.
There are some moments that simply make you sit back and wonder just what were they thinking? The times where the guitars do nothing but play the most basic of chords, the drumming is barely heard and the vocals just seem hold the same note for as long as he can; or even worse – he actually sings cleanly. Ugh, I’m all for variety but this just feels completely out of place more often than not, and it’s not mind blowing even at its best. There’s also the issue of the production; it is particularly of note on the drumming that they’ve been robbed of their vivacity, and are lacking any form bite. They’re there, and they’re interesting to listen to but there’s nothing more to them. I like eating tuna sandwiches but I have no compulsion to yell ‘fuck yeah’ throw the horns and start banging my head about it. Same issue here.
So what we’re left with is a strong release full of variation between the quiet, the death/doom and the old school thrashier variety of handling things, executed with some success. Sometimes it feels mediocre and bland, and sometimes the melodies will manage to take hold and force your attention, resulting in something of a hit-or-miss affair. Despite this, ultimately the good outweighs the bad, and whilst there are still kinks to be worked out compositionally, they are capable musicians and the result is an enjoyable listen.