Review Summary: And so it came to be, they replaced all the vowels with filler tracks. And we saw that it was not good.
I like to believe that every fad has its expiry date. There will be a point where the hype will quickly die down and people will move onto the next meaningless and bothersome clique to follow. The progressive metal movement of “djent” is one of these fads, and it doesn’t look like it’s dying down anytime soon. The guitar tone and playing style developed by Meshuggah’s guitarist is now what we have all come to know as “djent,” and has been adopted by metal and metalcore bands worldwide in more recent times. It’s a little disheartening that all we qualify as true progressiveness these days is becoming less special as any boy and his equally talent-less friends come together to rip off Meshuggah’s guitar tone with none of the recognisable song-writing, creativeness or ingenuity. This isn’t progressive, this is just kids with no idea what they’re doing spamming random notes in time signatures they’re unaware of. Maybe you could say that statement’s a little ignorant, but it really bothers me how rare actual progressive metal bands are becoming, or at least how well hidden they are in the very colourless spectrum of chugs and lugs. This is where I introduce “progressive” metal band RXYZYXR to you...and just like all their predecessors, they bring absolutely nothing new to the table.
RXYZXYR’s debut album LMNTS
is the ultimate exercise in violently stroking the shaft of Meshuggah’s legacy. Unlike the other slew of bands using the “djent” sound, RXYZXYR goes as far as to actually try and be Meshuggah incarnate, by emulating everything from song-structure, riffs, drums, vocals, bass and the obvious guitar tone. Of course, they can’t get anywhere by blatantly ripping off another band completely, they need to add other elements, like, say, clean vocals. And typical melodic sections could possibly accompany these clean vocals. Maybe, just maybe, these vocals and melodic sections could be an attempt to be Karnivool’s kid brother. Honestly, there isn’t much more to say about LMNTS
, as I believe that about sums it up, but I’ll try.
The harsh vocals are incredibly weak, holding little power or urgency and they just become background noise that burn out between the same repetitive chug they’ve been milking for nine minutes. That’s the entire formula for each song on this album: repetition. Not in a good way, as RXYZXYR has no clue about how to use repetitiveness to be an advantage. The same guitar riffs, that are almost identical from song to song, are eventually just blurred out and you forget you’re even listening to anything. The harmonious guitar solos and riffs they try to change it up with don’t help as they’re identical and typically repeated at two-minute intervals. The clean vocals are weak and generally un-enjoyable, very much mirroring their harsh counterparts. Progressive clichés are littered throughout the record, with an attempt at a jazzy bass line to open a song, a breakdown into acoustic melody and a guitar solo, a section exactly like the acoustic breakdown and guitar solo, but instead of being acoustic, it’s simply electric. Hell, they even brought in a predictable female vocalist to seem diverse.
Even though this is still predictable and utterly unoriginal in all aspects, RXYZXYR has astoundingly surpassed all its peers who follow the “djent” movement, but then again, that isn’t much of an accomplishment in itself. I admit that the guitarists do have technical talent and when they’re writing actual clean riffs, they aren’t all that deplorable, and the bassist seems to know what he’s doing. But when it all comes down to how unabashedly proud this album is of itself, it’s absolutely riddled with filler songs. One being a six-second track titled, and I *** you not, ‘Just Because.’ That’s it folks, I’m done. I’m out. I can’t take this anymore.