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Eric Pellegrini - Vol. 1 - 60%

Obscurum, February 10th, 2013
Written based on this version: 2012, Digital, Independent (Bandcamp)

Vol. 1: the debut by Eric Pellegrini, and what a tiresome debut it is. Being a "band" comprised of a single member, to whom the band takes its name from, Eric performs all the instruments, and that acts as a double-edged sword. He has prowess in certain areas, and a complete lack-of in others. I feel as if he tried too hard when recording this, as the structures and instrumentation come across as generic and worn-out; everything's been done before by other bands, except better. He certainly has talent playing guitar--that's a given--but his vocal ability ... well, that's just awful. The bass merely exists, and the drum programming ranges from decently generic to somewhat acceptable, namely when it's programmed to do blast beats. Boring, truly boring.

For the most part, this is rather thrashy death metal with periodic changes in song structuring, as to be expected. The guitars, being the highlights of the album, encompass several tones and styles: at times, very melodic and pleasant, others they are thrashy and unoriginal, and sometimes they resemble deathcore chugging ... oh, God, no. Solos abound, and plenty of emphasis on them, but without any real flair or quality, as with the rest of the music, generic. Quite an abundance of noodling and showing-off, but not being sloppy or lazily performed, unlike the vocals--hit and miss. "True Karma" is an example of the some of the finer riffs to be found on here.

The drums are alright, I suppose. They vary from extremely fast blast beats to the common uptempo pounding of thrash metal, with the occasional down-tempo sections, such as those found in the closing track, "The World Is a Stage". They do their job of maintaining the backing rhythm fairly well, but aside from that, they don't perform anything fancy or memorable--could be worse.

Vocals are the usual death metal growls and yells, and the main culprit for the tedious listen this album causes. There's absolutely no originality in them--none. Songs like "System of Power" clearly show this; I find them humorous to an extent, they're that bad: too simple are the patterns they follow, and repetitious. Even worse, at times Eric does the dreaded multi-tracking on them, and coupled with the growling and yelling, gives the impression that he's shouting at himself, which only adds to the disappointment. Were this an instrumental release, it would've been a lot better, still far from a masterpiece.

Vol. 1 shows that if Eric were to refine his style (maybe throwing in some more variation) and perhaps a full band, leaving himself to handle the guitars, he could end up releasing something somewhat desirable in the future, and not come across as yet another unknown band with nothing to set them apart from the rest.