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5ive > 5ive > Reviews > caspian
5ive - 5ive

The Boy Band's sludge side project.. - 80%

caspian, June 27th, 2006

This band might have a dodgy name, (and how do you pronounce it? Five-ive??) but this band is far from dodgy. They play stuff not too far removed from early Pelican, but it's a fair bit dirtier, and a bit less dynamic. Not a bad thing though.. nothing wrong with Pelican's style of sludge, but it's good to hear a band load up on nothing but big riffs and washes of noise. Not every sludge band needs long mellow build ups or post-rock stylings.

One cool thing about this band is that there is a fair bit of variety. Writing massive sludge riffs isn't ultimately hard, but keeping a fair bit of variety going is pretty hard. Luckily, there's plenty of variety in this album. There's quite often a mellow intro, before the huge riffs kick in. The drumming helps a lot too. It's not ultimately technical, but it's super effective, making as much noise as the guitars. Most of the riffs are fairly slow, but most songs are easily identifiable. Burning Season is the 'fastest' song on the album, probably the loudest, even if it is the most repetitive, Orange has a long build up before it becomes a slab of mid tempo noise, and Jules Verne's Dream has a long, steady marching tempo (very reminicent of early Pelican) and never quite reaches the same level of heaviness that other songs get to. Cerrado is super heavy, and at 11 and a half minutes it's a pretty draining listen, but a few short ambient breaks give you a few seconds to breathe before massive riffing comes in.

There is one complaint though. The guitar riffing is indeed massive, but there is way too much distortion, which robs the tracks of any dynamics, and makes some of the riffing quite hard to hear. While most doom bands use tonnes of distortion (which is fair enough), you can use too much. Just back the gain down a little bit, and the songs would still be super powerful, but also more comprehensible. And while it is all good to be instrumental, some vocals would be good.. or if not vocals, just something to break up the constant beating of the guitars and drums. But a synth in for a half a second. Have a guest vocalist on one of the songs. It would be good!

Despite those few complaints, this is a pretty damn cool release. If you like your metal very loud and heavy, I would highly recommend this.