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Gods of tempo grind - 97%

ezekhiel2517, August 2nd, 2014

It was years and years ago when I heard a mixed bands compilation and there was this song that totally blew my mind. Sadly, there were no names or a track list on that forgotten recorded cassette, so I never knew the band or the song's name. For years I couldn't find it again, but that song I could never forget and sometimes I could clearly hear those high-pitched screams with some kind of sick desperation and anguish in them, the awesome weird guitar riffs, and, above all, the drums, those offbeat, broken-rhythm drums, that sounded so different from anything I'd heard before. Years went by and then suddenly one day it came back to me. The album was "Gods of Grind" (God knows why because there was little to no grind in it) and there it was, alongside Entombed, Carcass and Cathedral (another band that took me years to find again). The band was Confessor. The song: "Condemned".

Immediately I got my self a copy of the album "Condemned" and yes! The magic was intact: the malevolent riffs, the sick screams, and most of all, the out-of-tempo, cryptic, and unique percussion. I remember sometimes thinking "do they make this on purpose or are they just plain bad at playing and canĀ“t even keep the beat?", but deep inside I knew there was something there and I just couldn't figure it out, because for some reason I just couldn't stop hearing this album, especially the song "Condemned". So I kept up my research and then I found this video: It features Confessor's drummer Steve Shelton and a deconstruction of "Condemned"'s drumwork, and then it was all clear to me. These guys are plain geniuses.

I consider myself someone with a trained ear sense to a certain degree, being capable as I am to play songs like "Master of Puppets, "Sweating Bullets", "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son", just to name some, without the need of tabs or partitures, but what these Confessor guys did is in another technical level. I'm sure that with some effort I could probably play these songs on my guitar, but the question is "could I've ever write these kinds of songs myself?". The answer is "surely not". To write this kind of stuff you need to have a totally different musical structure and a different wiring in your head. It took me all those years and especially to see that video to finally understand the magnitude of this album.

So this is not your typical metal album. The contrast between the outstanding work by Steve Shelton and Scott's almost out of tune and shrieky vocals seem to actually work. Some consider his voice annoying, but for me it blends perfectly here and adds a different flavor, like a touch of teenage anarchy amongst technical perfection. This voice is the one thing that tells me "hey, they are not just some uptight musical geniuses, they have a rebel attitude, too!" Most of the time you wont be able to bang your head or tap your foot to the floor in the traditional way because there is no traditional tempo to follow. If you really need to move your body to this music, perhaps an epileptic seizure would be a more appropriate dance that fits these songs, and for some strange reason maybe you will start loving it when you realize that this album is an outstanding demonstration of musical awareness with out of this world technical skills.