We All Die (Laughing) - Thoughtscanning (Kaotoxin Records)

Progressing from bad to worse, with clarinet in tow...
Release Date: 
14 Jan 2014 (All day)

Man, what a load of dross! I'm uncertain of the origin of this band, but I figured the best way to get through this thirty-three minute song/album was to take a live-Tweet approach and just write as it came to me. Luckily, with Thoughtscanning (Kaotoxin Records), We All Die (Laughing) gave me a lot to talk about.

Not really sure what they're going for here, but let's start from the beginning. Goth-y bells ring out before a beat that seems to shuffle to no particular (or particularly compelling) rhythm at all steps in. I was excited for a second there, hoping they might take it in some Bauhaus type of direction. Alas, now comes the morose guitar that forms the musical theme of the song. The triteness of the lyrics is brought into full view by the vocalist's mournful croak. Building, building, building -- to shouty bits with double-bass. Predictable. Oh, but what's so predictable about a clarinet solo? Nothing! Nevermind that its presence doesn't gel whatsoever with the rest of the music. It's kinda got a sinister jazziness to it, but it simply does not work.

These guys seem to be in the business of looking jealously at all the bands that make successful long-form metal, and aping them mercilessly. A dash of imitation-Neurosis sludge in there for good measure. Lyrics which never improve, delivered in all manner of (bad) vocal techniques -- dude actually says "Monkey see, monkey do-hoo" in some terrible approximation of a James Hetfield voice. Think I might have heard a Dimebag wah-wah solo in there, too.

But it is Opeth who eventually emerge as the most apparent influence in this ongoing morass of hackneyed transitions from section to section. Plaintive vocals trade places with would-be authoritative death growls, jazz-inflected quiet bits pay off to underwhelming and often haphazard "heavy" parts, and keyboards enter the picture as proggy set pieces. Kudos to the French-Bulgarian duo that comprise this band for aspiring to make music to rival Akerfeldt and Co. -- but that's about all the cold consolation they'll get from this reviewer.

Oh, and one more thing: strained French dialogue samples do not sound heavy, bros.