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Boring... - 50%

PsyMoN_MDA, March 27th, 2009

”Cacophony is the demonstration of unpleasant phonaesthetics.” © Wikipedia

And that’s a damn right name for the band, since their so-called music on this album is nothing but cacophony. But we’ll get back to this later.

Let us begin with the good things of the album – the guitars are total insanity. You have here different types of techniques, the album should be used at musical theory for the young guitarists. Then, there is a good production. You can hear everything.

The problem is that here is the point where the good things of the album come to an end. Why? Because, as mentioned in the two reviews below, there is nothing but the guitars on this album that stand out. Wankery, only wankery and nothing but wankery. I have always seen music as harmony between instruments, vocals (if) and lyrics (if) as a whole one, where each one has its part. There is a very thin difference in genres like neo-classical/shred/prog/etc. between being a talented instrumentalist and making an absolute killer of an album, backed up by virtuosity, and being a talented instrumentalist and making an album, the goal of which is to emphasize your technical abilities, lacking music. This one falls into the second part. Even the cover art. There are four people credited on ”Speed Metal Symphony”, why do only two of them appear there? It seems to me that the guys thought that it would not sound good to have an album only with guitars, so Friedman played also bass and they hired some people to play drums and sing, just for the filler. Drums, bass and vocals are a total standart cliche, but I guess you've read this below.

There is a question, pending to be asked and answered: if I write a book, where I use 4623746 different new/underground words, unknown to the majority of the population, and you must read my book with a dictionary near you, does it mean that I am an amazing writer by default? Of course not. Being a newbie, for example, I buy myself a guitar. I practice hardly every day, and after 3-4 years I am able to play Speed Metal Symphony with my eyes closed. Does that mean that I am the ultimate musician on Earth? Of course not, again. Same thing is with Friedman/Becker. They are amazing guitarists on this album, but not amazing musicians.

Metal is art. The goal of art is to create a unified SOMETHING, which sends a message for those who see/hear art, for them to think on this message. Whether it is technically skillful or not, it is a secondary moment. The album can be catchy when heard for the first couple of times, but it becomes boring to death after that, because of its lack of that SOMETHING.

The highlights of this album, if they can be called such, are the two instrumental tracks, because SMS should have been an instrumental album. It would have sounded better without the useless (in this case) vocals. Or being released as a video lesson VHS for the beginners.