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Bacchus > Live and Learn > Reviews
Bacchus - Live and Learn

"Speedcore dont pay the rent..." - 75%

Oxenkiller, January 5th, 2009

Speedcore dont pay the rent...so lets change our style." Well I admit I was a bit taken aback after hearing this, being much more used to (and somewhat preferring) the basic hardcore/thrash of their earlier material.

But I got to admit, this grew on me. While the hardcore thrashers will probably hate this, in most ways this is undeniably better than their early stuff. Its much more technical, with much more ambitious songwriting, a broader range of dynamics- and musical influences, better musicianship, and a much less generic approach overall. Its pretty decent, in other words. Not outstanding, but decent. Fans of Death Angel's "Act III" and "Frolic Through the Park" might like these songs- and find some of the same frustrations with them. The speed and energy is there, but this time it is tempered with a range of indie rock, melodic punk, and classic metal influences. Its not just straight foreward snarling thrash any more. A lot of melody, catchy synopated riffs, and breakdowns mingle with speedy passages on all three songs. "It Was" fuses rock n' roll influences with driving speed passages, while "Live N' Learn" has some choppy, syncopated riffs, cool lead parts, and breakdowns amid the catchy, chunky sections. "Chase the Sun" is the best track on here, probably because its the most straightforward track with the most memorable, melodic riffs, and it seems to be the tightest in terms of songwriting. (There was apparently a fourth song, "Green Stuff," recorded during these sessions, but dangit, I dont have it on my version!)

Overall this is a very professional sounding demo which really tried to transcend the basic thrash metal approach by bringing in a broader range of dynamics and influences. However I think a lot of the problems with this tape are the same ones that plagued Death Angel's second and third albums- namely the songs dont always "flow" as smoothly as they should. Some of this seems too "Busy" as it were, cluttered with needless fills that dont really help the songs move along smoothly. Granted, this isnt nearly as choppy as some of the Death Angel stuff, hence it is better. (at least in my opinion.) But it just aint "Heavy," at least not in a metallic sense. And of course, I think the stylistic shift, even if it was for the better, killed a lot of the band's momentum. I do think if they had stuck it out, they would have had much more potential continuing with the direction shown on here than the rather one-dimentional earlier material, however.