Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2023
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

A Blood-Soaked Trail Left After the Assassination - 91%

bayern, November 10th, 2018

There was no way I was going to leave the Holy “Synod” unreviewed (or reviewless); I mean, how can I possibly miss out on the final stroke from the guys' (and a girl) triptych provided that there’s no guarantee whatsoever that any other album will follow suit from their camp. The band are reportedly in an active mode, and have been this way for quite some time, but even god hardly knows when these assassins would get their next assignment.

And it had better be different from any of the previous three in order to retain the status-quo; the band have presented a different style to the audience on each instalment starting with the atmospheric rock/metallisms on “Temple of Red” before hitting harder with the dark gothic thrash feats on “New Start Human” (think Fear of God’s “Beyond the Veil” as a good reference point), the trilogy finalized by the album reviewed here, a tantalizing blend of the dark undercurrents from the preceding opus and precise technical death metal histrionics with which the band’s homeland has long since become synonymous.

The overall approach recalls another similarly-styled amalgam, the Greeks Acid Death’s “Pieces of Mankind”, but the execution here is much tighter and more aggressive, the guys producing some of Canadian death metal’s finest moments in the first half. A fascinating vocal transition is witnessed at the beginning with Kristen Parker’s hypnotic black mass-like recitals suddenly transforming into scary witch-like growls to a startling effect, her colleagues following with some of the most precise surgical guitars this side of Atheist’s “Unquestionable Presence”, extrapolating inordinate riff-density from a largely mid-paced delivery which becomes more hectic and neurotic on the short schizoid marvel “Heavens Advocate”. A speedier layout is introduced with the spastic “Shelter of Hypocrisy” with surreal slower stopovers creating an abrupt contrast with the psychotic rifforamas.

A logical, quite naturally-sounding borderline case (“Depths of Greed”) binds the hyper-active technical death feats with the more tamed, gothic-tinged flair permeating the second half, “Crawlspace” bringing back the sombre thrashy veneer from the preceding opus with dramatic, proto-groovy staccato rhythms invading the aether (“Nature of Repention”) the darkness deepened on the atmospheric doom-laden creeper “Pontinous Pilate”, with “Servants of Twilight” ensuring the rousing firework-like finale with exuberant death/thrashy pyrotechnics restlessly moving up and down those surrounded by intriguing melodic walkabouts, with Parker making sure no one has forgotten about her involvement with spell-weaving, plain threatening as well at times, schizophrenic semi-whispers/semi-screeches enwrapping the very eventful musical cavalcade.

Yes, you can have the best of both worlds, and this recording here is a nice testimony of that. The element of surprise would be big once the second half has commenced since the change of style is quite audible as the clinical, contrived riff-patterns start playing second fiddle to the dark atmospheric vibes which don’t exactly create stark contrast with the delivery in the first half. Once the latter comes back for the mentioned final showdown, however, the listener will be quite delighted to hear how everything falls back in place, and how dexterously the band have managed to stitch the two sides. It’s one compelling dark opera that the guys (and a girl) have composed here, with several nuances co-existing both peacefully and turbulently, the album surviving the abduction attempts by the technical death metal movement without pledging blind allegiance to a perennially existing on a semi-quantum level metal branch like the gothic thrash one.

It’s quite hard for “assassins” to find jobs on regular bases nowadays with the world coming full circle from its quest for peace and understanding; hence it’s not quite certain when this original team will strike again. I would personally cast an eye or two once every few months their way to make sure I don’t miss out on another dark “bloody” melee… those are really hard to come by these days, especially the more beautified, female-guided ones.

Surprising - 75%

orphy, May 23rd, 2006

Here's an interesting album that actually surprised me. Wetwork are a technical death metal band hailing from Ontario, Canada. However, they have a female on vocals. I didn't know what to make of this at first, because although I do love technical death metal, I generally am never happy with female vocalists with a few exceptions.

This is one of the bands that I can make an exception for. I almost didn't at first, due to the album starting off with some type of chant, which made it quite obvious it was a woman singing. However, when the actual song kicks in, it's fucking heavy! Let's take a look at the first track. We have riffs, riffs, and more riffs. The vocals are actually well executed for a woman. They're raspier, and they'd fit a thrash or black metal band well, but it works for Wetwork. Thank you for not being cliché! Anyway, a lot of good riffs are thrown at you, a ripping solo, all mixed with fairly solid bass and drum work.

The next track kicks in with a monster of a riff, and double bass blasting you in the face. Speaking of blasting, I'm surprised at the overall absence of blastbeats on this album. I can't really recall much being used. Some parts could really use them I'm noticing. Oh well, you can't win them all. Notice about three quarters in this song, the guitar drops, leaving the bassist to shine through. At this point, I was definitely paying more attention to the bass lines on the album.

The song writing on this album is fairly narrative. As mentioned, the songs are full of riffs, which usually are varied for breakdowns and the like. Wetwork seems to be good at making their riffs melt into each other without making it look forced for too abrupt, which is essential in their style of music.

Production on this album is fairly standard, and it's all it needs to be. Drums are loud and clear, guitar is thick but seems to have some "vvvmp" problems when low notes are palm muted. The bass is perfect in the mix, not overly powerful but not hidden in the mix.

Overall this album was surprisingly good. I could do without any of the sang/narrated parts by the vocalist, but aside from that, the album is very well written. Solid effort by our fellow Canadians.