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In search of djent: Part one (genesis) - 80%

tshred666, July 19th, 2012

Part of being young and in the underground is you get exposed to the various trends, and the big one right now is the "djent" genre. In it's current incarnation, it's essentially metalcore that wholeheartedly embraces wanking of the highest order. But going deep into the Meshuggah back catalog (the roots of the trend), what we get is experimental/progressive groove metal. Imagine the likes of early Machine Head and post-CFH Pantera with a good deal of industrial influence and a fuck ton of creativity.

I would compare this to a half-way point between the over-the-top wank that would later manifest itself on Gorgut's "Obscura" and the half-thrash groove of the early nineties. Vocally, Jens projects a half hardcore/half thrash yell that is somewhat reminiscent of Hetfield on the early Metallica albums, but points more towards the NYHC scene. Production wise this album is very good. The guitars have a nice, clear crunch; bass has a heavy presence at the top of the mix; and while the drums are triggered, they don't sound entirely fake and have a nice punch. Like I previously mentioned, the riffs are essentially a technical exaggeration of really early groove metal. While there is a good deal of homogeneity and synchronicity between the band members, there are sections (primarily the grooves and breaks) that make good use of poly-rhythms.

Positives: heavy riffs, heavy production, decent groove/hardcore vocals, and a tense mechanical atmosphere.
Negatives: the tendency to go off on bland and uninteresting tangents and an overwhelming sense of sameness on each track. For fans of groove, post-thrash, experimental/avant-garde, and industrial, pick up for $10 or less.