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Inoffensively bland - 48%

MutantClannfear, May 18th, 2012

I'll save the introductory bullshit for an album that actually rubs me one way or the other, and start by saying that The Harvest Wombs wouldn't know "atmosphere" if Lykathea Aflame, Khanate and Wormphlegm all came up from behind it in the middle school bathroom during lunch break and buttfucked it into nonexistence. (The principal Demm E. Lich would assumably walk into the room afterwards and cheer on those three students for putting inferior beings in their place.) This album's main stabs at atmosphere are shredding progressive solos out the wazoo - like, at least two per song. They're not particularly fast, but they're full of that vigor which progressive deathcore bands' solos tend to have - that is to say, none at all. The melodies produced by said solos are neither harmonic nor dissonant enough to create any interesting vibes in the music, rendering them essentially worthless. The riffs in general are also technical as hell and flitter around the concept of melodies without ever driving the point home, like another well-known proggy deathcore band. Which brings me to my next point...

Yes, this is a blatant ripoff of The Faceless and no, it does not manage to be as puppy-slaughteringly horrible as Planetary Duality. I'd put my money on the improved songwriting as the main reason for that - Fallujah are much more willing to take things at a bit of a slower pace and flesh out their (admittedly uniformly mediocre) ideas, instead of pulling one riff up, chipping off a 10-second piece and moving on. Furthermore, this doesn't feel like it's desperately grasping for ideas that'll make it UNIQUE AND SPECIAL~ - it's pretty consistent in terms of what it wants to do. I'll give the band credit for at least trying to stick to one idea and get the most out of it (instead of The Faceless, whom I imagine as a failing sculptor struggling for ideas and, finally getting so frustrated that he can't even see through his wall of angry tears, squeezes a tube of superglue all over his studio, dubbing the subsequent mess of mismatched pieces his magnum opus). This is better than The Faceless, all things considered, but I still wouldn't say this appeals to me very much at all; really, the only thing I can give mild praise on the "melodic" end of the guitars are the little reverb-soaked tremolo sections that pop up in some of the songs like "Alpha Incipient", "Cerebral Hybridization" and "Hallucination" (this undoubtedly has already resulted, and will continue to result in morons claiming the band has "black metal-influenced riffs", just watch).

The growls here further perpetuate my belief that tech-deathcore vocalists choose to lend their "talents" to such a genre because it's the only one where they can get away with having such a hackneyed method of approach. They sound almost perfectly identical to The Faceless's, who in turn sound like a big clusterfuck of every single tech-death vocalist who ever recorded anything, ever. Giving credit where it's due, however, the raspy screams are actually pretty well-done - they feel as if they almost carve into the airy, light parts of the music, and if there were a comparison to black metal to be made on The Harvest Wombs, it would be here.

There are a few groovy deathcore riffs that manage to neither be technical or "atmospheric", and I enjoy them, but they're few and far between, and even then they're dragged down by the blatantly triggered, practically plastic drumkit (the man behind which certainly doesn't help with his "BLAST BEATS GO WELL ON EVERYTHING EVER" ideology - prog-death bands slow down too, you know, it wouldn't hurt to try it sometime). All in all, The Harvest Wombs isn't offensive so much as it's just sort of boring, as most deathcore with prog-death leanings tends to be. I guess this is best described as music for tech-deathcore fans who play guitar, but I'd take Chelsea Grin and Carnifex over this any day, and I'm sure that even The Shaggs could best me in a guitar faceoff, so... my loss, I guess?