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A Young Brown Jenkins? - 90%

Krallicefan, November 20th, 2009

Going back and listening to this early music again (I think it was first released in 2005 or 2006, I can't remember), what strikes me right off is how similar the guitar playing is to the later Jenkins material. It's almost exactly the same style, but it's even more obscure, fuzzed-out, stranger. Constant buzzing arpeggiated chords cycle through the left and right channels while more conventional riffing takes place in the center - actually driving the songs forward. This is the same technique Brown Jenkins later used.

Where Jenkins is super heavy, though, and really tries to crush the listener or propel him downwards, this music is lighter, more ethereal, the melodies are much more melancholy - really achingly sad in places. I believe this band used to perform live around Austin, I can't imagine what 40 minutes of instrumental music like this would do to people. I'm guessing they would be either falling asleep or openly weeping. There is so much despair and heartache in this music that one is almost afraid for the band at times - they're really putting themselves out there and I can't believe they would have ever received the response they would have hoped for. Was it courageous or suicidal? Music like this never does very well in the metal scene.

It makes one wonder, though - why did this band end and Jenkins begin? You could tighten up this demo, change the drumming a bit (not use really simple drum machine beats for one), make the sections of the songs flow into each other better (the riff transitions are so obvious it's a little embarrassing), put some vocals on top of it and these songs would still make a great album today because the music is so honest, emotional, evocative, etc. This band could have easily given groups like Katatonia a run for their money. Instead this demo will sink into total obscurity and will probably never be heard again. If you find it anywhere or get a chance to download it (I think it's available for free in a few places on the net) give it a try and I think you'll see what I mean. I'm guessing this band will forever be known as "pre-Jenkins" as the latter has become so well known, but this music stands on its own.

BTW, if you want to hear music that's even more obscure or otherworldly than this, try the first demo. That is the sound of a completely new take on metal - a new sensibility - being forged right in front of the listener. It got a few good reviews back then but I'm afraid this really is the kind of music only a small minority can truly get into.