Alright, let’s rip the Band-Aid off and get the unpleasant part out of the way now.
No, I did not like the closing title track of Alluvial’s latest EP, Death Is But A Door. At all. I’ve seen the music video, and I was not impressed. Wes Hauch has a strong, gravelly singing voice that would sound cool in a different scenario, sure, but it just didn’t do anything for me this time around. It kinda sounded like Bad Wolves with an admittedly ripping guitar solo, because if there’s one thing homeboy can do it’s shred your face off. I appreciate what they were going for, but it just didn’t resonate with me the same way that it did for a lot of others based on the YouTube comments, and that’s fine. Different strokes and all that.
The other three songs, though? Now those are some certified ass beaters.
Right off the bat the opening track “Bog Dweller” hits the ground running with blast beats and some very fun, fast paced chugging riffs guaranteed to incite a circle pit. It grabs your attention immediately, then carries the momentum forward with a smorgasbord of pummeling stop-go rhythms, a tasteful but still face-melting guitar solo, then ends with a very inventive breakdown where almost every single hit is a pinch harmonic. It sounds like the kind of riff that Malignancy would have written but slowed down a little, and I love it.
For my money though, the second track “Fogbelt” is hands down the best song on the EP. It plods along like some massive shambling beast, occasionally letting out bursts of speed to break up the pacing, but infrequently enough to always keep you wondering what will happen next. I can easily see this song becoming a smash hit for the band, a must-have in the set list that gets the crowd hyped up every time the lights go down and that weird, dissonant, instantly recognizable opening riff kicks in. I believe this song could actually be quite accessible to newcomers as well, the wide-eyed young’uns on the fringe curious about dipping their toes into the really heavy stuff. It’s hard to deny those fucking grooves, man. Once that signature pitch shifted high note gets stuck in your head, good luck getting it out.
The penultimate track “Area Code” is a solid offering as well, similar in structure to the opener but not quite as cohesive or memorable. It’s not bad or weak by any means, it just runs into the same problem that a vast majority of extreme metal eventually hits where it becomes difficult to distinguish one song from the rest. However, Wes saves the day once again with a massive wah-heavy guitar solo, and if that shred fest doesn’t plaster a big stupid smile on your face then I don’t know what will.
All of this gears everything up for a massive climactic conclusion, which makes it all the more disappointing when the final track turns out to be this weird half-ballad that fails to follow through on the momentum generated by the rest of the EP. Far be it from me to fault a group of extremely talented musicians for wanting to experiment a little, but it just didn’t grab me the way I’m sure they intended it to. But then again, I’m just one guy, and y’all were already gonna shit on my opinion no matter what I said to begin with, so who cares? The rest of the EP is a lot of fun, and if I ever get the chance to catch them live again (they ruled, naturally), I’ll just step out for a cigarette with the other old heads who are too cool to get kicked in the face while they play that song and let them do their thing.
Alluvial’s Death Is But A Door drops on January 12 via Nuclear Blast. Pre-order your copy today.
The post Review: Alluvial Start Strong But Don’t Quite Stick the Landing with <em>Death Is But a Door</em> appeared first on MetalSucks.