Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Psalm Zero : "Stranger To Violence"
Clean vocals find themselves fighting to be relevant in heavy music today. This project's previous work, certainly took an honest stab at melodic hard rock.Here the vocals are little more dead pan and almost sound like the singer of an indie rock band jamming with A Perfect Circle. The title track that opens the album finds the guitar a little lower in the mix and allow the vocals to dominate the song when they might have been better served sitting back in the mix. On "Pay Tomorrow" the vocals continue to sit awkwardly in the spot light on a mix that almost makes this sound like karaoke. Things get a little heavier on "Real Rain", in someways it sounds like Helmet and Godflesh jamming in a goth bar. But it continues to feel like they have over estimated how interesting the vocals actually are versus, what they think the vocals are capable.
Some of the synths and more melodic guitar parts that flow through the songs make it seem like a soundtrack to an 80s movie is playing in the background as they were recording. The guitar retains more heft on "Not Guilty". I seem to remember real drums on the previous album versus these programmed drums. If some one tells me these drums are not programmed then I will hope the producer gets eaten by rabid snails. Aside from the rather bland clean vocals, most of the problems with album line in the production. When the album tries to drive forward in a heavier direction the production is letting the gas out of the tank. The problem is if you are combining metal with any kind of post-punk, goth or industrial, then I am your fan-base, if something is preventing you from winning me over then you have rather unfortunate situation on your hands, because you are making the kind of music , I not only want to like but try to hunt down everyday.
The song writing on " Stolen By Night" manages to pull it together enough to re-engage me. "White Psyche" might make some questionable choices when it comes to the synth sounds, but over all it a pretty wroth while song with interesting lyrics that don't high light the fact this guy has been singing this way almost the entire album. The acoustic guitar and proggier synths that wander around "Oblivion's Eye' find the continuation of odd choices continuing. The guitar tone improves when the song builds up. I'll have to round this one down to a 7.5, as the lo-fi mix is a distraction for me. I think this project continues to be ambitious and will always check out what they do , I just don't think I'll get much play time out of this one. Profound Lore is releasing this July 15th.