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Album Review: TBA

Monday, June 27, 2011

EP Review: I, Inside - Mental Exhibition

Sucking lazily upon the fumes of Metallica, this Belgian quartet plunder their heroes thrash and groove, disappointingly turning it into bit of a chore. Behind a wall of volume, there seems to be very little variation to the tracks, one wandering aimlessly into another. There is a distinct lack of bite and there aren't exactly any hooks to cling onto to. A lot of it is just two-chord faffing around. All sounds pretty damning but there is an occasional flash of inspiration. The artwork is pretty neat, for one. Also, the bass blast that steps in around the 1:45 mark of 'Verdrängtes Trauma' is pretty worthy, and the vocal occasionally finds an impressive guttural edge for 'Moral Midgetry' - yes, I'm really grasping at straws here. The trouble is you simply have to concentrate too hard on blocking out the biggest weakness that this EP exudes - the production.

All hail their attempts for, presumably, digging this out without assistance, but it just hasn't paid off. The dull, lifeless thud of the solitary cowbell lurking inside 'Liquid Recollection' pretty much sums up the kind of contrast between hissing top-end and thick, sludgy bottom-end - I see big black boots and a bobble-head but where's the body? The drums are particularly paper-thin, sounding ridiculously clipped next to the incessant grunt that the guitar chugs offer. Throw on a vocal that sits about thirty feet back from everything else and you've just got this grotty mess that is never going to showcase the band's nascent talent for digging out a groove.

This opaque mess continues right through until 'Turbid Shape' opens out and starts revealing slow, delicately plucked open chords. The undulating nature of it is a bit of a revelation, as it proves the band are prepared to blossom out into more than just one-dimensional grunt. Vocalist Kris' last verse is delivered with real menace behind a flux of dark, minor chords - "He has no face / he has no shadow".

I guess, sometimes what's on the cover just doesn't match the innards. No matter how much I try and constructively criticise this beast, it's always going to end up sounding pretty ugly. I honestly believe 'Mental Exhibition' isn't a great example of what this band are actually capable of. They need to put this behind them and come at us again with a more solid, fine-tuned attack.

Also online @ MTUK =

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