Blood Stain Child – Mozaiq – 3.5/5
I could probably only write this mildly drunk, so its fortunate I'm still at that level where I'm able to type words coherently. Couple that instinctive metal fans hatred for that dreaded combination of anything electronic de-sanctifying the purity of the metal with a personal distaste for a local genre pioneer (and you have no idea how bitter even typing their name feels, so I wont) and you have a recipe of despision, which just makes this all the more impressive. I'm far from the unambitious type and have no issues with trying out new sounds, but this always seemed like one idea too far, and I was often quite happy to mock them – along with anyone else – who thought it could work. But it does. And that's just a little frightening.
Now I'm not going to start ranting about the proficiency of the instrumentation; you could remove the electronic overtones and be left with something altogether not too different from Dark Tranquility or In Flames style of Gothenburg melodeath. You have the same riffs filled with palm mutes, those half-rasped and half-growled vocals all breaking for a slow chorus; the drumming never really feels like its trying and the solo's come all too infrequently, albeit when they do arrive provide ample opportunity for the guitarist to prove against all odds that he can actually play pretty well. But for the most part it's faceless, by the numbers and quite unimpressive.
It's only when you dive a touch deeper that you realise that the new element manages to revive a dying genre; by combining it with that danceable and catchy trance back beat, it manages to create a slow point for which to give the sudden aggressive burst extra emphasis. The dual vocal styles lend a diversity to the standard monotony; a “Machinae Supremacy” flair to coincide with the “Genghis Tron” vibe he manages to convey. I still don't entirely know how to explain how the unusual combination works; by virtue of the two elements that should by all rational minds conflict, instead they somehow morph into some absurdly catchy version of a genre I grew tired of years ago. By all means, hate the idea of it enough to influence your thoughts on the music – it would be hypocritical of me to suggest otherwise – but if this is the sound we can expect in the future, I don't think I'll be one of those complaining.
Highlights: Freedom, Metoropolice, Ez Do Dance
Over the years this has grown into my own personal project, reviewing the artists that I discover and interest me. If you wish to see more of my work, particularly my more metal-orientated material, you can find me as a regular contributor for the online magazine
Posted by T. Bawden Tuesday, 18 January 2011