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pfork pretty late on the review but better late than never
I've had it for a couple of months now, but it hasn't really clicked yet. I probably need to give it a few more listens. In fact, I'm going to listen to it now...
'Of the Dead Who Never Rest in Their Tombs Are the Attendance of Familiar Spirits' is really good, and lots of the tracks have great little bits in them, but I'm not that keen on the guitar and drum sound at the moment, it seems a little too clean and restrained to me. Lacks that kick in the gut that metal riffs should have, or the malevolent buzziness I like in Black Metal.
I thought the Mastodon album was a little too polished too, but on the whole I don't think they're that comparable - progressive sludge versus psychadelic black thrash. Nachtmystium's 'Assassins' is probably a better comparison to Absu, though I think I prefer 'Assassins' to both the Absu and Mastodon albums.
But no way is it better than the Mastodon, no way near as ambitious/engrossing/progalicious.....Good screaming though, which there isn't enough of on the new Mastodon.
Absu get by on longevity and mystique alone and don't have all that much to get excited about (read the Umesh Amtey interview again).
I say again - Mastodon's clean vocals are horrible. horrible. all clean vocals are though, but a lot of the ways he sings are just chump metal naffness. I tried to listen to it again this morning and couldn't get through the 3rd track for cringing. they do got some nice chops, just not nice enough and they're speperated by to omuch aimlessness...sorry, prog.
not clean vocals from non-metal bands. But I find pretty much all clean metal singing really naff sounding. I can't think of any that I like. For example, Anaal Nathrakh's last couple of albums could have been overwhelmingly awesome if it wasn't for that terrible 'singing'. Oh dear.
I'd be interested to hear your recommendations of tracks with some good clean singing on them.
To flip it around, the new Hateful Abandon album has clean 80's goth/new wave music with proper harsh screeching on it. It works.
especially 'scenes from the second storey' although their second (and final) album is almost as good.
The God Machine were a proper metal band who dealt exclusively with 'clean' vocals and it worked really well (maybe because their singer was a proper singer not a screamer who'd got bored of flaying his larynx and was making a bad attempt at singing).
They were well ahead of their time too - using long extended song structures and so on long before ISIS (or the whole concept of 'post metal') was even thought of. Well worth checking out (if you can get hold of them, which may prove tricky).
I will check out God Machine and let you know what happens to me. I will be able to get it. If it exists, it's there for the hearing.
as another proviso though - If it's heavy metal, as in Heavy Metal then it's already off to a bad start. I am pretty particular with the metal I listen to. If it doesn't come in shades of Black then it's got a lot of work to do.
I listened to it a few times but it didn't do anything particularly special for me. It's in the Above-Average-Out-Of-Ten area.