Review Summary: All shred, no substance. Expect Biomechanical to be announced for Gigantour soon.
That the John K. Ban…err sorry, Biomechanical is featured in Earache Records' line-up may very well be the most fitting record deal since The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus signed with Virgin Records. Lead by John K. (real name: Yiannis Koutselinis), the seemingly dictatorial frontman who seized control of the band and had the rest of the members walk out on him simultaneously last summer, the newly reassembled group is fairly adept at all things regarding earaches. Combining the hick-metal of Pantera, the thrashy speed metal of Judas Priest's Painkiller album (particularly in John's screams), Nevermore's more aggressive material, and some Meshuggah, Biomechanical's sophomore effort (released in 2005), The Empires of the Worlds, is pretty much exactly what one would expect it to be. An album that shows some sort of promise, but ultimately tries to do too many things at once.
After listening to Biomechanical's third album, it's rather apparent that Yiannis hasn't learned from the mistakes made on The Empires of the Worlds.
In short, Cannibalised is a mess. In effort to create a destructive, chaotic sound, the band has abandoned any semblance of conventional song writing. That isn't to say that John K. should stick to writing the same formulaic power-thrash as everybody else, but the route he takes is just frustratingly horrid. Opening track, Fallen in Fear reveals this much. Sporadic, technical musicianship is the name of Biomechanical's game, and while it's obvious that each (ex) band member has talent, nobody puts it to good use. The riffing can best be described as random, with (ex) guitarists Chris Webb and Jamie Hunt picking up and dropping chords every five to ten seconds. Fans will claim that this is all in the name of the convenient entity known as progressive metal, but the only thing that seems to progressing as I listen to Cannibalised is my headache (excuse me for a second while I go find an Aspirin). Indeed, the structure-less transitions and time changes of The Unseen or the title track are not only irritating, but they generally make little to no sense at all. The worst part? Nearly every song sounds the same, meaning you're in for a nice, long, forty-eight minutes in which you experience the musical equivalent of getting your head smashed in by a rusty pipe. Metal.
The one thing Biomechanical has going for them are the vocals of John K. Pretty much what you'd get if you threw Rob Halford, Warrel Dane, John K's banshee shrieks admittedly fit the album's violent sound rather well. The man definitely has range and variety, switching effortlessly from a high pitched wail to guttural death metal grunting to one of those banshee shrieks. Yeah…not quite original but he pulls it off decently enough, I suppose. It isn't enough to make the incoherent song structures and the "Hey guys maybe if we all play our instruments really loud and fast we will be awesome" type vibes sound good, however, and the chaotic sound that Biomechanical achieves seems to be present more because the guitarists are dropping generic chugging riffs left and right all the while former drummer Matt C. pretends he's a machine gun behind the kit. But hey, *** happens when two of your biggest influences are Pantera and Nevermore, huh?
I'd label this more "progressive metal" than "thrash" after listening to a handful of tunes off of their myspace.
They are, as you described however, so fucking stretched out and sporadic that it's a chore to listen to them.
I don't know Mike, I think your ratings are a little skewed sometimes. And its not because I like these guys. They are alright for a listen or two, but rating this very poor seems like you just listened to this once and said 'I've had enough'. My point is that there is far worse stuff out there and this certainly doesn't deserve a poor rating by any means compared to shit bands. These guys have skill, but it just needs to be put together in a more coherent way. Thats just my feelings on this album and review.
Other than that, the review was well written and easy to read. It just feels sometimes that your ideas are rooted in pessimism. This Message Edited On 02.27.08