Yes, another American import Nu-metal band. Having recently made their name on the “Tattoo the Earth” tour of the US (headlined by Slipknot), leading to some press coverage over here, it sometimes seems that all a metal band has to do to be big in the UK is to be American and detune their guitars. With the derivativeness that this leads to, sooner or later all bands are gonna start to sound the same unless they really do stand out. The fact that its on bandwagon jumping TVT, who started signing up just about every industrial band they could get their hands on after Nine Inch Nails sold millions of records (this being after the head of TVT described NIN as a “sonic abortion…we’ll be lucky to sell 25,000 copies”), doesn’t bode well.
This, Nothingfaces third album, shows that being American doesn’t necessarily mean you’re any good. Though recorded at industrial metallists Frontline Assembly’s (a.k.a top 3 single makers Delirium) Armoury Studios at Vancouver, it doesn’t share a shred of the originality FLA have been showing for years. From its provocative title to its pastiche of shlocky horror films design, and the unintelligably designed lyrics (read: fucking annoying), this whole album seems to be a carefully calculated attempt to cash in on the nu-metal/ industrial wave. Sonically, it’s a different matter. Though it has some interesting moments- mainly caused by programming and loops, these provide a texture under the main sound, rather than being a groundbreaking meld of electronics and guitars. The double drummers idea – whilst having done before, does provide a crunchy rhythm section, the whole CD tries to be current and with it, but just comes across, as well, dated before it began. Singer Matt Holt certainly knows how to growl in that nu-metal stylee, and can even sing a melody now and then too, though he owes more to Burton C. bell of Fear Factory and Robb Flynn of Machine Head especially, a huge debt to make up for his own lack of vocal style. There’s times when He’s aped Robb Flynn’s etheral vocal stylings virtually intact, and boy, does it show. But what this album lacks in originality….it doesn’t make up elsewhere.
While lacking the sonic attack of Machine Head, the sludgy and indistinct guitar sounds of Tom Maxwell makes this album seem oddly dated and out of place, sounding like a million other derivative second rate nu-metal bands like Kilgore. Ultimately though, I can think of worse ways of spending your time, but that’s not really a compliment is it? No. If you like nu-metal stripped of originality and crunch, then this is the album for you.In the meantime, Im gonna detune my guitar down to some stupidly low tone and see if I can make my millions that way…and we’re looking for someone with a silly name (like Mungle, Munky, or Flunky or something), a red boilersuit, and some dreadlocks. Any volunteers?
6Graham Reed's Score