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leaves you hungry - 68%

odradek, February 15th, 2007

If technical death metal is your dinner, then tempo shifts, interludes, and fiery leads are the spices that make the meal tasty. But if more spice makes a dish more enjoyable, one might get the idea to forgo the main dish altogether and serve a plate of spices alone. Liers in Wait, if you haven't guessed where I am going with the metaphor, deliver us the musical equivalent of a plate of spices on Spiritually Uncontrolled Art. Each song is a fitful sequence of time shifts and abrupt starts and stops, punctuated by the occasional indiscriminate outburst of notes from the lead guitar.

And just as one imagines the hypothetical plate of spices might delight the mouth but fail to nourish the belly, this album provides no shortage of interesting moments, but ultimately leaves the listener unsatisfied, as there aren't any enduring melodies to linger in the memory, and the constant changes of direction ultimately lack effect, as no prior direction to the music had ever been sufficiently established.

The drums and vocals dominate the mix. The drums are deftly played but a challenge to follow, as they never seem to maintain any beat for more than a few bars, only vaguely outlining the constantly shifting time signature. The vocals, provided by Christoffer Johnsson from Therion, are a forceful growl that occasionally rise to an emphatic scream. The lead and rhythm guitars are mixed low, suffer from an indistinct tone, and generally don't sound to be played with a great deal of precision. It could be argued that the music on this album doesn't have much of a harmonic element.

You have to admire the band's venturesome spirit, as this is a unique effort. But in my opinion the song structures are a bit too ambitious, and final product comes out as indecipherable as the band's logo.