Review Summary: Rest In Peace, Hacksaw To The Throat.3 of 5 thought this review was well writtenWastelands
is an album that doesn’t reward instantly, but increasingly with the flow of time. It’s one of those albums which may take years to fully grasp, depending entirely on the amount of effort put into it. Often it’s fairly easy to assume that many listeners spend time with albums which are easy to divulge into at first. Therefore, problems may be encountered with this album because of the attention it demands. Also, if you were to base the album entirely on an impression of one of the individual tracks, you might stop right there, believing it to be nothing more than just another melodic death metal album. While the album finds the base of its sound in death metal, it creates experiences well beyond it.
The album is a melodic death metal adventure at its heart, but goes far beyond the initial tag of this sound to bring forth a listening experience that is truly individual. A majority of the tracks have heavy parts, slow and thought-provoking ambient sections, and almost any pace of music in between those two ends of the spectrum. The vocals are the only true downside to the album: they’re a cross between mediocre “deathcore” vocals and a death metal scream that tries to sound varied but just ends up coming across abrupt. The guitar work changes as much as the songs themselves; it’s almost constantly shifting, and it’s sometimes difficult to keep up with what is going on. There’s also a fair share of chugging riffs, but they’re never repeated to the point of nausea like many other contemporaries. The drums are excellent as well, and there’s a lot of exceptional cymbal work that gives their sound that extra mile and truly helps it stand out.
also has an aspect the listener will rarely hear in a death metal album: a stand alone piano track. The song successfully breaks up any potential monotony the listener will encounter with the album, given its placing right in the middle of the other tracks, and is done extremely tastefully. “Obsidian Sun”, the aforementioned song, moves around just as much as any other song on the album, but there’s just a deeper connection with it. It creates a somewhat peaceful mood for the album, something that would not exist without it. The length of the album will be an obstacle for some listeners, given that the album has a running time of over an hour and there’s constantly something new to absorb. However, the experimentation always makes up for it, and pays back tenfold for the time put into it. Being that this is one of the more impressive metal outings in recent years, it is disappointing that the band found it necessary to end their career with this album. Regardless, it ended on an extremely high note, and you will be hard pressed to find a metal album with as much variation and successful songwriting.