This 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.
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