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Nowhere near as remarkable as they say - 61%

Noktorn, February 11th, 2009

Here's another of that breed of absurdly overrated forgotten gems; this band having broken up is nowhere near the tragedy that some would have you believe, and I seriously doubt the band would have made anything of amazing value had they kept going. This is just another random Scandinavian death metal EP that would have been completely forgotten had not a small section of people latched onto it like it was one of metal's crowning achievements. It's certainly not bad, but it's nowhere near deserving of the crazed praise it gets so frequently from the underground scene.

I take issue with Scandinavian death metal in general, and Swedish in particular. Above and beyond the scourge of Gothenburg melodeath, the typical oldschool Swedeath sound is fairly annoying to me. It seems to me that many of the seminal Swedish artists essentially took the technical, oove and violent music of early death metal artists like Morbid Angel and Deicide and piled on groove and easy-to-digest melodies, and the result is a poppy, overly accessible version of death metal much in the way Gothenburg is a poppy, overly accessible version of melodic death metal. This is a gross overgeneralization, of course, but the fact that 'Swedish influences' is these days a term indicating chirpy pop-punk rhythm guitars and fast thrash beats probably isn't entirely out of line with the movement as a whole.

This is why I think Liers In Wait have probably gotten so much recognition; instead of taking what Morbid Angel did and turning it into pop music, they simply take what Morbid Angel did and fail to water it down, making them seem like visionaries when compared to their compatriots. But much in the way that baking a cake without shit in it doesn't make you a great baker, cloning a style without making it terrible doesn't make you an artistic genius, just an adequate clone. Liers In Wait's style is taken almost wholesale from the 'Blessed Are The Sick'/'Legion' school of death metal with just a bit of Finnish abstraction thrown in. The riffs have a semi-technical, fulminating Azagthoth quality to them, and the overall pounding aggression reminds one of Deicide in their younger days. You might hear a bit of the weirder Scandinavian scene here and there with the occasional riff that reminds one of Creepmime or some similar artist, but overall there's little really unique about this piece.

The production is rather flat, without a lot of depth to it, and the technical performances occasionally leave something to be desired, particularly in the drum section, where you could probably take a shot every time he starts playing the wrong beat accidentally and abruptly shifts to another and be passed out before the CD's over. The riffs are occasionally memorable, and would be moreso if the band didn't feel the need to change the melody entirely every few seconds, which prevents any real cohesion from forming, but the nature of the music isn't really chaotic enough for that style to make sense. It's not really bad music; it's cleverly constructed with some interesting song structures, solid riffs, and a fairly intense vocal performance, but it feels like the formative stage of a band who would become decent, not the stroke of pure genius that so many make it out to be.

Anyway, this isn't really a necessary release in any regard unless you're a Scandinavian death metal fetishist (and I know some of you are). It's not really relevant to anything on a historical level and the music is only okay, so it's mostly valid as a curiosity piece and nothing more.