Review Summary: An eclectic and multifaceted metal album
Could any of you imagine that if you put together hip hop, hardcore, alternative metal and some funk undertones the final result would come out as excellent? Yeah, I did not believe in that either, but then along came Subscribe, who managed to change my mind instantly. While the above-mentioned components shouldn't theoretically work too well when put together, they still somehow do on Sanity Has Left the Building
. Maybe it’s because these components are very meticulously wrapped into a solid metal package, or maybe the band members are just that good at combining an amalgamation of different music styles, but Sanity Has Left the Building
is one excellent and unique metal album.
The best thing about the album, as the reader might already guess, is surely the way all the influences work together for the benefit of Subscribe. Whether it be the jazzy break that makes its way through the beatdown riffs in "Feedback", the unexpected reggae section that suddenly pops up in "Mechanic-all", or the rapping in "Highfly" - all of these transitions and breaks are smooth, balanced and efficient (and they are far from being the only ones on the record). But it’s not only the addition of different musical styles that makes Sanity Has Left The Building such a great record.
Subscribe’s metal blueprint would probably work even if there wasn’t an addition of different musical styles. The rhythms here can range from your casual up-down funksters to irrational, with a quirky lead playing over them. Or the band can just resort to heavy, hardcore-edged riffing, doesn't matter, as everything they do admittedly works. What's also lovable about these guys is that they are clearly having a lot of fun, as the overall feel here is rather wacky, with the lyrics being tongue-in-cheek and playful most of the time as well (an example from "Mechanic-all": I wanna lick your brain, yes/ I want to ***, *** your ass, yes/here ain't no place for soul/in a world built on lies/no place for rock and roll/
it's all mechanic-all
). There are a few serious songs on the album too ("Friendship", "Unity"), but they don't detract much from the general trivial content of the lyrics.
One thing that can not be left unmentioned is the brilliant work of dual vocalists Bálint Csongor and Máté Tilk, of whom Tilk is mostly an accomplished growler and Csongor is, well, pretty much excellent in everything else but growling. The combined vocal attack of the two is laudable and adds a whole new layer to the band’s music.
If I had to place Subscribe on the musical map then they would probably end up somewhere between bands such as Incubus and Sikth, for being similar to both, but a good deal heavier than Incubus and less extreme and technical than Sikth. Subscribe are rather technical, but not over the top, they incorporate a bunch of styles into their metal sound, but never do they push it over the limit, the vocal delivery is pretty crazy, but never does it become overbearing. Sanity Has Left the Building
is a metal album that doesn’t exactly push the limits, but rather makes the most of those given, showing that one does not need to break boundaries to be original, and that is where the true value of this record lies.