Saturday, August 9, 2014

Report to the Dance Floor : Voices of Terror's "Rock - Rap Dynasty"

This rap project from New Jersey mixes a more varied array of elements than expected. You can hear how they are aiming for the same bar set by the likes of Death Grips. The difference being a matter of  there are significantly less organic elements. Right from the opening track it sounds as if a guitar  I find myself having to take a more careful listen to the guitar as it's  hard to tell if it's a guitar or a synth pretending to be a guitar , though the cadence of the drums here feels like it is a guy behind a kit.

 The synth lines make this much darker than most rap that comes my way.They do not adhere to the need to emulate the types of grooves popular in hip-hop today.The flow of the projects spokesman Mike Walker, has an aggressive delivery, though at times his style reminds me of Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda. When his co-conspirator Zero takes the mic the results are less intimidating.

The synth like guitar sound works well on "Lethal Weapon" almost like the organ Deep Purple employed, when John Lord ran a Hammond through a Marshall stack with the gain up. The strings dominate the mix here and the rapping weaves underneath, there are some well placed punches making this one of the albums more meticulously arranged songs, and where the project shows it's true potential at blending sounds.

 On the "The Old Gods"  which from it's title made me hope for something Lovecraftian, instead its Walker looking at his place in the rap game where his stakes his claim  that he was born in the 90's so if you are bringing real lyrics to the table get behind him. He does shout out to the who's who of classic rap Krs-one, Tu-Pac, Easy-E, Dre and others. Adhering to my rule that artists should know the roots of their craft, it's almost like having to know the rules before you break them. I think these guys are armed with that knowledge so would like to hear more rule breaking from them. So if his claims that the fate of rap depends on him then he should start breaking new ground with the quickness.

"Insane Lyricist" hits Stuck Mojo. The drum interplay here is much stronger and when they launch into the hook at the chorus there is more energy behind it, the Krs-one vibe here is pretty strong here as well. "Warrior" and "Problems" are both high energy and use their momentum to run together as a one two punch, both being more straight forward than some of their more experimental moments. "Dynasty" makes more use out of drumming to create a fun house ride of neck jerking syncopation.

The album's final moments find "Save Me" collecting all the elements that have worked on this album and refining them into one song, I think this song is as strong as the album's lead single "Warning" (featured below) . "Voiceless" is an instrumental piece these guys should consider making a back track out of to throw raps on or a remix of it, I think it would do the music and their voices justice, standing on it's own.. well it's not progressive rock, but has a strong sense melody that they should consider making the most of.

This is the first album by these guys who are still pretty young at 21 and 25, so I think this marks the duo being off to a good start. We have already heard groups like Issues claiming to be a come back of new metal , which is a band wagon these guys could hop aboard if that come to fruition. I think a more experimental direction and reaching further into some of the electronic elements would also be a good move, when was the last time Death Grips made some as cohesive as a traditional song?  Their inspiration from the classic taught them song structure, but  they have displayed the rules are learned. The theme to the album seems to be how rap is stale and this brand of it they are trying on for size will be redemptive to the art form, that maybe, so would like to see them reach beyond their means next time and with better production they might full fill those claims.                    

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