Avantgarde Music (2012)
The name says it all: Heavy riffs drawn out for ages, rumbling bass and desolate synths create barren atmosphere. On the first couple of listens, "Barren" seems to be a worthy album… There are some flaws though, which, in the end, doom this release..
The vocals are extremely mediocre: not screamed, not growled, indefineably mid-range. The type of vocals you get when the singer doesn't have a voice for the genre or is too insecure to let his own soul affect his performance. There are bands in Thrash, Black, Death and Doom bands affected by this syndrome, you recognize it when you hear it.
The real nail in this release's coffin though is the songwriting: Lacking ideas (other than playing whatever slowly), the predominant instrument the album is neither the Bass, nor the Guitars, but the keyboards. Starring in their old role of providing structure and melody in a vain attempt of hiding the other instruments' monotony. I am all for keyboards if they are an addition to the classic metal instrumentation, but if they take over to an extent that the music would be as interesting without the rest, then that rest is superfluous.
With all that negative criticism aside, there is some merit to this release, I think I might put this on to go to bed some time: it is atmospheric, just not deep enough to be enjoyed by the attentive listener.
Rating: 2 / 6
Composed by Lennard Bertram