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An improvement but still flawed - 65%

Dasher10, June 22nd, 2008

Doom was a live album in the worst possible sense, which is why I was surprised to find that Genesis actually made attempts towards making an album that is enjoyable to listen to in the comfort of your own home rather then having to see them once a year in a live setting since not only is the production awesome but many parts of Doom that simply didn't translate well to a recording have been fixed. However, Genesis has several problems of its own despite being a step in the right direction.

The biggest issues that people had with Doom were fixed with Genesis which shows that the band is capable of listening to constructive criticism and reacting accordingly. Gone are the crappy pig squeals that brought down Doom. That is very much a good thing as they were incredibly annoying despite the fact that Jonny Davy is an otherwise good vocalist. The result is a much more straightforward and far less annoying album that is mostly brought down by "Reign in Blood Syndrome" as the tracks all sound more or less alike and focus on being brutal and aggressive rather than concentrating on songwriting and the album suffers from that despite accomplishing what it clearly set out to do.

That brings me to Genesis' other faults. Namely the fact that Jonny may no longer be randomly playing around with his voice as much as he used to be, but he comes across as boring since he isn't using his scream as much as he used to and he has always had one hell of a scream. The fact that he mostly uses one type of grunt as well also makes his delivery monotonous and helps to meld all of the tracks together. Varying his vocal delivery while avoiding the pig squeals would have really brought the score up, but sadly he seems to be playing too conservatively.

As for the guitars, they just disappoint. Some of the riffs can be technical but they usually bore me. Breaking up the monotony are some solos and breakdowns but both are usually so brief that it takes a few listens to notice that either are present. In fact, I'm not even sure that some tracks have either and while Reduced to Mere Filth has both, both the solo and breakdown are over way too fast to really grab my attention. The solos just sound incomplete and seem to end right when they're picking up momentum and while the solos in Embedded and Martyrdom Unsealed and the breakdown in Coalescing Prophecy do grab my attention, they're the exceptions to the rule on this album. Ravi is showing improvement but at the same time he isn't really pushing himself as far as he can, despite showing that he is capable of so much more than he's displaying.

At the same time, this album can be display some well crafted songs like Embedded and The Divine Falsehood with the latter being good by any band's standards, which just makes the rest of this album that much more disappointing. At the same time, Job for a Cowboy is one of the best live acts around today so if you're going to waste any money on this band, please spend it on a concert ticket and just download this album for free rather than wasting your money and shelf space on it unless you really like Slayer's Reign in Blood. I expect great things from this band in the future but I still feel that they were signed too early into their career and are still developing musically.