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CD Review: Lies – Hate

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Lies: Hate CD available at CDBaby.comThis disk arrived on my doorstep with little fanfare, or time to allow me time to prepare for something new. I opened up the packaging and slipped out the disk. I was greeted with a plain black cover emblazoned with two words. I larger print was the band name in a scratchy looking white font, “Lies.” Beneath the band name in a smaller, outline stile font was the word “Hate.” So far so good. No problems with simplistic design, the cover draws the eye to the band name, which can be an important thing for an up and coming act.

Anyway, enough about the packaging, in the end it is the music that matters. The problem is that music doesn’t pay off. It comes across as half baked and amateurish, with a mix to match. I don’t like speaking ill of metal acts, especially those who are trying, but these guys are just not ready for prime time.

The music is a parade of standard riffs and mediocre drum beats, with a lead singer who has an odd sort of whispery/breathy style of singing. There does seem to be a strong undercurrent of potential here, but it doesn’t seem to strive for anything beyond what it is. What they need is someone or some thing to give them a push in the right direction. They could also use a better mixer. The drums are too low, guitars too high, vocals buried somewhere in the middle. A good mix could do wonders for the sound.

What I do like about the album is that it is not your typical grindcore or hardcore stuff, which is what I was expecting based on the band/album name and the band picture on the back cover. The music is slowed down a bit, giving it a chugging rhythm, nothing original, but given proper motivation, who knows. But what I like most is the singing, it is not great by any stretch, but it is not a screaming, raw throat inducing style. There are way too many of those sound alike screamers, I think that a lot of those who get into this music young may not know what another singing style can do for the music, screaming is not the only way to deliver intense lyrics or to energize a young crowd waiting for something new. The singer, Travis Bain, has a voice that could be haunting, could be enigmatic, could be so many things, at the moment it is an alternative. A voice that is low and has a dark airy quality to it, which is a breath of fresh air.

Bottomline. I cannot say that this is an album that I will gravitate back to all too often, but I may be willing to sample future offerings, see what direction they take. I do like the direction of the vocals, once they develop and the rest of the band grows some originality, Lies could make a small mark on the metal landscape. Until then, I cannot recommend this album.

Not Recommended.

Visit Lies online at www.lies1.com

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About Draven99

  • Guppusmaximus

    Chris,
    I don’t want to sound like a prick but I really feel that you do not understand the term “metal” and your quote,”I think that a lot of those who get into this music young may not know what another singing style can do for the music” just goes to show that you never truly listened to the genre as a whole. To be nice…this band is to metal as Britney Spears is to rock(They Suck!).I started listening to metal when I was 11(now 31) and those qualities aren’t always what interested me(Screaming,etc) but it did depend on what style of metal you were listening to..i.e;Speed,Death,Thrash,Black,Heavy.To understand what clean vocals meant to metal you must understand what the real connoisseurs of this genre were expecting. They wanted the singers to hit high range notes(Operatic) or have brutal aggressive vocals.(Joey Belladonna from Anthrax was inspired by Journey)Alot of singers couldn’t hit the same notes as the masters(Dickinson,Halford,Diamond) and could only scream at some extent. Unfortunately because Metal is overlooked as a true genre by the industry alot of bands that are regarded as metal aren’t the real deal. In my opinion, it was very hard to find a band with a flexible singer that had a unique sound, that could hit all ranges and that the band was amazing…Again there were very few but I loved all metal so I was somewhat biased.

    I suggest you pick up some true metal classics before you compare bands:

    Candlemass-“Ancient Dreams”
    Iron Maiden-“Piece of Mind”
    Danzig II-“Lucifuge”
    Watchtower-“Control & Resistance”
    Fates Warning-“Perfect Symmetry”
    Iced Earth-“Burnt Offerings”
    Judas Priest-“Painkiller”
    King Diamond-“Them”

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    Thanks for the comment, Guppus.

    Perhaps I used a poor choice of words, but I used what came to my head at the time of writing. I am a fan of metal, and have been for a good 15 years or so. I was a little slow getting around, but I am there. I was more trying to refer to those youngsters getting into the current wave of “metal” with the varying “-core” tacked on. There are so many soundalike screamers that I am getting so bored with. Not there aren’t good singers out that can scream, or those who choose different vocal stylings. Also, I wasn’t really attempting to compare bands, just offer a point of view.

    I have four of the albums you mention, and I have some Diamond when he was with Mercyful Fate.

    Thanks again for calling me on my poor wording. Sometimes my head to keyboard translator don’t work too good!

  • Guppusmaximus

    Chris,

    “Head to Keyboard translator…” LOL, good one!! I hear ya… I had to apologize in the beginning of that post because I get very passionate about Metal! I definately agree about the metal being pumped out today fortunately there are some great bands from Europe who are making waves and Iron Maiden is still putting out some incredible work… Well, it’s cool…Atleast you are writing about the scene over here and that you actually review bands that aren’t necessarily mainstream.

    Up The Irons!!

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    It’s good to have passion, and with the lack of real good metal in the current crop of acts, it is easy for true metalheads to get defensive over the misrepresentation of their genre.

    I do have something interesting coming up, I am going to see Judas Priest/Anthrax in concert on Tuesday, hope to have a review up on Wednesday.

  • Guppusmaximus

    To me, it always seems to be the US scene…ya know? Always the nod to crappy “hair metal”(hard rock)and the cheesy rock bands wearing metal t-shirts but when a new US band tries to play metal….yeah right…*smirk*. All of these people are still bent over for Metallica. As for the JP/Anthrax show…Here’s my predicition: I think JP will be an awesome “Greatest Hits” show but their new stuff blows. Anthrax will definately have more energy. Anthrax’s new stuff will be more enjoyable live and in a way has resorted back to what thay wanted to be in the first place…Hardcore. Ofcourse with the metal roots and I really have only heard a few tracks off of their newest release but I give them credit….They have their own sound and can still play like a motherfucker.They will play a few classics which will sound raw as fuck because of John Bush but overall they are not a “Greatest Hits” band and they will probably blow JP off the stage(my opinion). JP shouldn’t have let go of Ripper Owens because their material with him was more vicious.(It would’ve been a more aggressive show) I didn’t see it at the time because I am a “Painkiller” fan. I wanted Mr. Halford back because I thought they would release a killer album and because HALFORD was a decent band. Oh well,I was wrong… Mr. Owens sings with Iced Earth and “A Glorious Burden” is a sick album. That would be a cool show Iced Earth/Anthrax…

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    I think you’re right about the US scene, Europe has a better metal scene going. We get a good one once in a while, Iced Earth is from the US.

    Iced Earth is a favorite of mine, I discovered them with The Dark Saga. Owens is very good, but I prefer Barlow, his voice is amazing! I saw Iced Earth open for Megadeth in the fall of 2001, great show!

    John Bush isn’t with Anthrax at the moment, they are touring with the classic 80’s lineup: Belladonna, Ian, Spitz, Benante, and Bello. So I am expecting all old stuff. I have seen Anthrax 2x with Bush and I have seen Belladanna 2x solo, both put on great shows. I got to hang out with Belladnna after both of those shows, really nice guy.

  • Guppusmaximus

    Yes..I definately prefer Matt’s voice too. But, in the case of JP, I think they should’ve kept Owens…They put out some great stuff with him. As for Anthrax getting back with Belladonna…UGH!!I don’t hate Joey but the one new track I heard him do and that was like 3 years ago sounded like sticky ass on shiny plastic.Funny enough, bringing Joey is the only one missing from the line-up. Well,hopefully Armored Saint and Mr. Bush will write another album with this time available and go on another tour. So much for my prediction… I thought it was kinda strange that they would tour together but now you’ve thrown some light on the issue…Fuck all this 80’s metal heyday crap!! Here’s my dream tour:

    Iron Maiden
    Iced Earth(Barlow & Owens together)
    Opeth
    Blind Gaurdian
    (Which lets us see Demons& Wizards live)
    The Haunted
    Strapping Young Lad
    Dream Theater
    Atheist

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    I love Belladonna’s voice, the range may not be what it used to be, but it is still good. Plus, he sounds good live. He wasn’t the only guy to come back, Danny SPitz had left around Stomp 442

    Sounds like a hell of a lineup you put together there! I’m not much of a SYL fan, I saw them live once, sick drumming, but that was about it.

    I would add the likes of:
    Nevermore
    Sentenced
    Gamma Ray (just heard these guys)
    Symphony X

  • Guppusmaximus

    Oh Yeah…I forgot about good ‘ole Danny boy..I was afraid that I would miss his guitar work but that changed when “Sound of White Noise” came out.I know he is mentioned on the album but I am still hard pressed till this day to actually hear anything of his. I guess I shouldn’t be soo picky but I think John Bush sings alot better even back in the day. John has the power and aggressiveness.So, how is Gamma Ray?? I know they have been out for quite some time but I have never had the nerve to buy a cd…

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    You know, Anthrax has put out strong music for, what 20 years now? They also have two distinct eras, the Belladonna and Bush eras. They both spent about the same amount of time in the band and each helped craft a different and distinct sound that was still Anthrax, I think these two eras compare more favorably than, say, Van Halen’s Roth/Haggar era split. But that’s a different conversation.

    I was recently sent a copy of Gamma Ray’s Majestic album, so I will probably do a review of it. I like it, it is from the Maiden type of pure power metal. Heavy riffs solid drumming, the singer is good, although I would have liked something with a bit of a lower register. Still, for my first exposure, I am impressed.

  • Guppusmaximus

    Are you trying to make me feel old?!? 20 years..85,95,05..I would say so, but I do feel that Anthrax only has a few real worthy albums(Among The Living,State of Euphoria,Sound…)Funny enough, there were more I liked with Joey but I think Bush could’ve done them better back then and in an interview with Scott awhile back, he mentioned that John Bush was the type of singer he had in mind when writing songs like “Indians”,”Now it’s Dark”,etc..

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    No, not trying to make you feel old. I’m right there with you (30)!

    I like most of Anthrax’ music, but you are right about only a few that are worthy. That’s still more than a lot of “popular” acts. FWIW, I would rank the better albums:
    AMong the Living,
    Persistence of Time,
    Sound of White Noise
    State of Euphria
    We’ve Come For You All

    The rest are spotty with decent songs mixed in. We’ve come for you all surprised me at how strong I thought it was. I always throught that Indians was a Joey penned track, based on heritage, I could be wrong though…

  • Guppusmaximus

    cool…”Persistance…” was a decent album and I actually saw them on that tour opening for Iron Maiden. Ofcourse Maiden was F*cking great but Anthrax held their own.I wouldn’t doubt it if Joey was an influence in the song writing,I mean, He was the singer then and I’m pretty sure they enjoyed having him but in that interview(which was about John)Scott seemed very straight to the point. All the tension of the split and how”Sound…” was such a pioneering album for them..Hell, I was still trying to get used to the change especially no more Armored Saint(at the time). Ya know, I was watching headbanger’s ball last night..*UGH* It wasn’t the same but they played a Helloween video,”I Want Out” and you could see the differences between what’s being done today vs. then..my point? WHAT THE F*CK IS GOING ON?? They played all these lame attempts at metal especially with all the metalcore. I mean some of the stuff would’ve been cool if they didn’t kill it with Pro Tools and triggers on the drum kits. Talk about crappy sounding drums. Plus, the way over-produced vocals…I guess I still like the analog sound but even so,it’s like they use the technology to make up for bad musicians. I watched it for an hour then went to bed…Really depressing. I mean a whole hour with nothing to show for it not even an Opeth or SYL video….F*CK!! LOL, I’ll get off my soapbox.

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    I will admit there are bands that I like that fall under the nu-core banners. But a lot of it is junk. I recently reviewd the Helloween video collection, which was also, sadly, my first introduction to the band.

  • guppusmaximus

    “Walls of Jericho” and “Keeper…Pt.1″ were my 2 favs.

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    I’ll probably pick up a disk or two of theirs. I found an amazing upswing when Deris joined up. His singing is a much better fit than the original guy.

  • guppusmaximus

    Unfortunately, I have to disagree because I love the range of Michael Kiske…Funny enough, I was reading their history and Kai Hansen is the founder of Gamma Ray(What a small world)so, I will definately check out their work.I felt that “Master of The Rings” reminded me of Loudness”Soldier of Fortune”, but I don’t hate it. I was actually thinking of purchasing “Master..” again because the cassette got destroyed.