Song review: Labyrinthe
Location: Apple Valley, California
Date of Release: 17th April, 2014
Every now and then I get really, really excited to review a track due to an epic backstory. I Shall Devour’s “Pessimistic Misery” is one such instance and this song is another. The story behind this particular tune is thus: The guitarist (Rocky Swedburg) used to live next door to a woman who had a young daughter with a bit of a mental disability (she was a little slow). Rocky had been at their house one day, and the next day the mother drowned the little girl in the bathtub. You would think with such a chilling back story, the track couldn’t be anything less than amazing right? RIGHT?!
Unfortunately, it’s somewhat short of amazing, without being poor. Starting with the guitars, I felt like the riff work was a touch lethargic. It just seemed to lack urgency in the parts where it needed it and the background leads seemed a little out of kilter with what else was going on. A good example is at about the 3:00 mark when there is a pretty cool bounce riff happening but the emphasis is taken away by the melodic riff over the top. I felt like both guitars should have been really focusing on that rhythm part with maybe a higher discordant lead over the top to fill out the section. In the end, the guitarwork certainly isn’t poor, it’s just lacking the je ne sais quoi that would have made it really memorable. In saying that I enjoyed all the harmonic/melodic minor scalar stuff going on.
Another bugbear for me was in the structuring. It seemed oddly disjointed at times. A few really abrupt transitions didn’t really help the flow of the song. The parts that flowed into each other well bordered on magic, which is why it’s such a shame that the whole song wasn’t that way. The drums also seemed a bit too much on the safe side. It would have been nice to hear some more variation from the standard metalcore patterns.
Moving on from the weak points, let’s talk about the song’s considerable strengths. Obviously, interesting subject matter is one that sticks out. The lyrics are pretty well written, especially in the context of vocal flow but the thing that really stuck out for me was the vocalist. This guy has some serious talent! Shredding highs, br00tz lows and some fucking sweet piggies at 3:45 or so add up to some pretty fantastic range and tonal variation. The bass also gets bonus points for shining on it’s own during some of the more vacant riffs. Tops.
Overall, I didn’t hate the song. Far from it. I was just a bit disappointed that some really great moments were let down by a few average elements which stopped this song from being as enjoyable as it could have been. That being said, there is definite potential here, particularly with such a strong vocalist.
Overall IPHYB Rating: 7/10
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Chris Giacca just may be the worst writer in the world, but it doesn't matter because he probably still has a bigger audience than you, so he is by default automatically right about everything. No exceptions. He's currently writing a novel which will be uploaded in single chapter installments as spoken word on bandcamp. Physical releases will be on laser disc only, limited to 17 1/2 units. Don't ask about the half.
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