Monday, June 20, 2016

The Browning : "Isolation"

Though this is the band's third album, it's my first time giving these guys a shot. At first they seem like they are just a metal core band with some industrial strength electronic leanings. This first impression might not be inaccurate, but there seems to be a lot going on under the hood of this mean machine. Heavy like Meshuggah at times, but without the math, I am not sure these guys are more accessible. It's not until the title track that I hear something that doesn't sound like tanks colliding on the dance floor. While the synths provide some atmosphere they still try to bull doze you. It's not until the anime sounding electro of "Dragon" that the synths begin to win their war on the djent like guitar chugs and dominate the song. "Fallout " is the first song to feature sung vocals on it's chorus, which gives this song an edge when it comes to standing over the sonic wasteland of post- apocalyptic chugging they take you to.

Industrial metal is nothing new and many bands were heading in this direction in the 90s the fact these guys are doing it in 2016 like this makes them a bit of an oddity. These guys are dark and angry enough for me, but at times the heavily processed wall of guitar feels like it chugging similar patterns and the songs begin to sound the same to me. Once we are on "Spineless" I really begin having a hard time telling what song this is and what is separating it from the song before it. I like the sounds they are using to make this music there just needs to be more colors to them, The first song that achieves this to some extent is "Hex". These songs are not trying to really create grooves, which is what you would expect from a band that uses such heavy doses of electronica. "Phantom Dancer" might uses the word dance in it's title and lyrics, but that is where it begins and ends. The softer whispered vocal gives it more of a nu-metal feel, which this could appeal to fans of Static -x.

The first ounce of booty shaking is stirred up on "Cyrosleep" which has a rave til dawn synth line. Aside from this is falls in line with the other songs, putting the lashing of power chords high on the list of their priorities. There is is almost a trap-rap feel to one of the synth melodies on "Disconnect". Thank the gods they are not rapping, was my first thought , but I spoke to fast as that comes. The final song is rather nondescript, blending in with the rest of the album and while this album doesn't totally hit the brown tone, it's not breaking any new ground either, making these guys pretty much a one trick pony. I'll give it a 6.5.

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