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Least common denominator contemporary rock. - 25%

olo, June 9th, 2008

Funny how things pan out. Here I am, writing this immediately after giving the new Sahg a good review and this is another hard rock band from Norway which even has a common member with Sahg and the guitarist from Enslaved. This should at least be good right? Wrong.

This is actually the least common denominator contemporary rock that we all strive to stay away from. It's moody alright, and it's often mid-paced and melancholic. It has its hard rocking moments and catchy sing-along choruses. But listen to Bright Lights, what begins as a A Perfect Circle knock-off goes into this mundane and forced metal part before the yelled out jumpy chorus that screams an instant slot at Lollapalooza. Hell Hath No Fury's verses will probably make this your favourite song, if your favourite band is Green Day. Then it goes into this pseudo-goth part and comes back to a staccato palm-muted modern rock part. It's an all-out sonic tour of modern rock.

The album plods along with this Faith No More influenced song called In the End. That's cool, except this is done without the sense of adventure and authority that Patton and Co possessed during their peak. And by the way, four songs into the album and no guitar solos yet. Not even those rhythmic melodies. Jaws' verse sees the band redeem themselves but it all goes downhill from that point onwards. Last Call and Last Chance for a Serenade sound like something The Cult would do, but they have the groove, the amazing vocal lines and the great guitar riffs which is completely lacking here. There's finally a guitar solo and it's pretty clear why there aren't too many of them on this album.

Monster is a ballad that puts them in the same ballpark as your modern MTV small penile rock like Third Eye Blind. And how about Pretty Girls Make Graves, a song that's like a Hoobastank cover of Alice in Chains' Would as the soundtrack for a climatic moment in a chick flick like Garden State? This can't be stated enough, but this has been one disappointing listen barring a few moments, like the guitar lead on So Long Euphoria when he neatly plays a nice restrained melodic solo. Stay the fuck away, don't be fooled by the David Lynch reference and the Enslaved and Sahg connections. If you're indeed liking the album, do yourself a favour and check out The Cult's Beyond Good and Evil instead. That's how you do modern hard rock and what this album hopes to turn out like and fails miserably.

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