Tuesday, August 01, 2006

An Albatross/ Blessphemy (of the Peace-Beast Feastgiver and the Bear-Warp Kumite)/5.6

when it comes to this hyperbolic spaz-metal stuff, nothing's too new or shocking

It didn’t take me half way through Moerder’s review before it began to ring false. For one thing, there are way too many pseudo-genres in the review. Spaz-metal? Spazcore? Nintendocore? I can’t find any of these on Allmusic.com. Hell, I can barely find them on Google outside of a few message boards. And the band references – Gwar, Fantomas and System of a Down – are nowhere near. There are enough recent touch points for An Albatross - Parts & Labor, Neon Blonde – as well as classic ones – The Boredoms, Naked City – that there’s no need to stretch. (System of a Down?) If there had been some better RIYL’s or even comparisons or some actual genres that didn’t include the word “spaz,” I’d be a little more sold on the review. I guess Moerder listened to the CD, but it would have been nice if the reviewer appeared at least sympathetic to Blessphemy’s musical objectives, if not a little more familiar with similar artists.

Blessphemy is twenty-seven minutes of lockstep playing that veers from progressive rock to metal to noise to hardcore channeling a combination of elation and torment through instrumental and vocal noise. However, where the ferocity of the playing gives the illusion of chaos, there is a tremendous amount of deliberation went into the CD. The individual tracks are sequenced in a steady ebb and flow of noise that keep the CD from descending into noisy monotony. The band’s playing is wickedly airtight – the “noise” they creates an endless stream of notes and snare explosions flying at the listener like a swarm of hornets.

An Albatross’s music isn’t for most listeners. Edward Geida’s vocals are particularly difficult to assimilate. However, if you listen to the songs carefully, Geida’s shrieks are another instrument on top of the rolling keyboards and Ziploc tight drums and guitars. Nonetheless, a half hour is a hefty dose of An Albatross’s onslaught. Folks who crave the aural battery of bands like Lightning Bolt will drink up Blessphemy. For fans of frantic, controlled cacophony, I’d give it a 7.0. However, Blessphemy is not for the faint of heart nor is it an ideal starting point for starting into noisier, experimental rock.