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Pesante e letale. Lenta ed aggressiva. - 70%

zakkrr, April 26th, 2014

Heavy and lethal. Slow and aggressive. This is the description of an hour of doom and death metal mixed together. These melodic atmospheres are almost gothic, which then all of a sudden become brutal, damned, and torn apart thanks to the ability of a vocalist who is capable of a good growl, but also clean singing characterized by a voice that I definitely find pleasant in its melancholic and sad essence.

They are from Malta and formed about 20 years ago, but only now have they managed to sign a record deal. A true cavalry, almost in line with the moniker itself. They are definitely not the innovation, but their sound is authentic, powerful, and extremely enjoyable with those riffs as slow as eternity and aggressive like death. The album is made up of five tracks with imposing lengths (often longer than 10 minutes), but are always involving and never boring or repetitive.

Deadly and oriented to an extreme sound, “Chapter XIII” is a portal leading to a monumental exhibition of obscure concepts that are slow and hypnotic. Beautiful “Tree of Iniquity” has attractive riffs crossed with good melodies. Overwhelming and widely doom tainted with sludge is the extremely slow “The Art of Despair”. Also beautiful is “The Glorious Deceit”, opening with clean and melodic singing, a clear tribute to Candlemass, later turning into a very melodic and totally decadent death/doom.

This is an album I really like, though it doesn’t feature any really new ideas to the scene. It's an album irresistible for the fans of the genre and rewarding for the band for so much patience, faith, and persistence. Their sound is undoubtedly extremely efficient, perfect for the live scene and definitely worth the deal with a label such as Cyclone Empire. They deserve the opportunity to get known and offered a sequel to this interesting debut.

(Luca Zakk) Voto: 7/10

Spiritual Traffic - 34%

Depersonalizationilosophy, May 27th, 2013

An unknown force incubating for a couple of decades finally awakens. Thus, presenting itself before our species, it stumbles upon the changes that have arisen since its cumbersome sleep. Victims of Creation is such a band. Formed in 1992 but not seeing any releases until the former half of 2013; No EPs and demos as far as I’m aware of. They strictly skipped the trivial matters of crawling and walking and right from the get-go start with a full-adrenaline sprint. As much as I’d like for it to be trivial, it is indeed a crucial sensitive period in which one needs to embrace this learning habitat to master motor movements. In consequence, if one were deprived, they would remain clumsy and never fully learn. Of course this is true for homosapiens among skills such as eyesight and language, but music is an entirely different ordeal or is it?

The band like to think they play sludgy doom / death metal. They are mostly correct, I don’t deny their artificial progeny, but included are also the styles of funeral doom and melodic tendencies added to the ravaging death metal aspect to their sound. Death metal is played in three respects here. One way is hints of brutal death metal riffs, but it comprises a small portion that the genre influence would be rather insignificant to mention in totality. Secondly, is the art of old school death metal, this leans more towards the mix of doom/death, giving it the corresponding sound. Last but not least is the most abundant inclusion of melodic-driven death metal. It’s not enough to call it melodic death metal per se, however, melody is the foundation to their sound, infusing it with doom and death all together.

“Symmetry of our Plagued Existence” is an album bequeathed with a formidable amount of interesting ideas but also brandishing wavering inlets of unnecessary and exaggerated movements. It’s hard to pick a point to start, just as the quite questionable album art by James Sciberras. It shows a field of unimaginable corpses decorated below your feet and each step you take, literally, brings you to a former creature who once had life. I guess as any investigation calling for thousands of leads, you just walk right up and pick one up by its dissolving hand.

Oh hey, I picked up a corpse called “Solos”, so let’s start with that one. Solos are used sparingly, but even so I’m there scratching my head expecting more quality articulation. I felt disconnected from it. It was a sonic wave I wanted to receive, but remained colorless in outreach. There’s hesitant and maladaptive dissolution. For example, “Chapter XXIII”, starts on the right foot (solo-wise), paying homage to what I would guess is “Cause of Death”-era Obituary, but as soon as my eyes began to glisten, the moon turns the tide to dim the sweeten landscapes. In other words, one of the guitarists evoked a latent James Murphy prodigal display but soon developed early-onset epilepsy and a catastrophic site, it was. “Chapter XXIII” is the only song with a decent solo impression, the rest throughout the album didn’t even lubricate my senses in the slightest.

Ah, vocals… I have much to say about them. Well you should know I have a strong dislike for Amon Amarth. Disappointingly for me, Rex’s funeral doom growls sound similar to Johan Hegg. I tried getting into them but once Amon Amarth continuously popped into my head, well you know, my natural reaction was to quickly dislike them as well. There was an exception, however, with “Tree of Iniquity”. Duo vocals were used, which I’m assuming were layered by Rex himself. I loved them immensely. They were metaphysical in nature, almost inconsequential to the physical realm. They were hauntingly beautiful, truly refining and extending the definition of funeral doom. These phantasmal chants flew in and about on several other tracks as well, but “Tree of Iniquity”, is the only one where the lively dead and the morosely living co-exist.

His cleans were apocryphal. On “Chapter XXIII” he sounded very much like Warrel Dane, any second I was expecting some Sanctuary-inspired riffs. His cleans were awesome there but everywhere else I kind of hated them. Especially on the “The Glorious Deceit”. The song commences as a generic ballad would. For the most part, ballads are forced incantations. His vocal choice to accompany it, was not the brightest of choices.

Finally, the most problematic, guitars and songwriting. Once again in the landfill, I don’t know which corpse to proceed to next so let’s go over here, ah this one is called “MDB”. Why, you ask? Well, the closest neighbor I could compare these guys to is My Dying Bride. Victims of Creation places a lot of faith in melody to drag their songs over the ten minute mark. It is this fallacy, that brings songwriting to a weary mask of incessant droning to meet their milestone (I.e. “Those Left Behind”). The transitions are icky. Both “Tree of Iniquity” and “The Art of Despair” have a weird pause and progresses to a misplaced continuation where the song left off. This sets a moot point throughout the entire album. It's not necessarily pausing, but transitions don’t even cohere very well. The former song, however, does have its good points. The guitar melodies are fused well with Rex’s haunting chants (also mixed well with the heavy riffs). Then melodies later develop into a Gojira-like aggression. Also, around the 6:30 mark is a beautiful interlude.

Well if you didn’t get my main message across, this is a very messy album. Regardless of all the negativity I introduced about “Symmetry of our Plagued Existence”, Victims of Creation has promise and potential. It’s better to make a lot of mistakes than to have an average or a well-known praised album that is actually crap.

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