Review Summary: Manic deathgrind with very little replay value.
When it comes to deathgrind, you know what you're getting into most of the time: ridiculously fast, intense, blast beat filled insanity that generally works a lot better in a live setting than it does on a record. Results
, the first full length release by California's star studded Murder Construct, is exactly that, only with a few songs that stand out on their own and contain practically all of the replay value that the album has to offer. I have a feeling this will be one of my shorter reviews, as Results
is not only quite short itself, clocking in at barely over 29 minutes, but it's just gonna be hard to describe in vivid detail what one will find on this album. It's not bad, not at all, but it's very samey on most songs, each containing mostly the same manic, chaotic feeling as the last one, getting old after only one or two spins.
While listening to this album, I didn't find myself overwhelmed at all by the music's craziness as I sometimes do from the more brutality based bands of death metal, nor did I find myself bored from mediocre songwriting, as the music is intense enough to keep me awake and attentive. Even though almost every song sounds practically identical, I'm able to recognize that the band was at least trying to make a good album, and I'll give them props for the songs having an identifiable structure, sometimes with the closest things to choruses possible in deathgrind in "Red All Over" and "Under the Weight of the Wood". They don't just shift out of the blue from one section to another as is common in some other bands I've talked about before, and the transitions between sections are fairly fluid. It just all sounds incredibly "been there, done that", like I've heard this style of music done dozens of times before by better bands. The three songs that break the mold and therefore mean more in the grand scheme of things are "Red All Over", with its slower opening and the aforementioned kind-of-chorus, "Compelled by Mediocrity", mostly for its rather funny lyrics that condemn the modern deathcore movement to death, and the closer "Resultados", the slowest, most melodic (for a deathgrind album), and easily the most musically varied and interesting tune to be found here. It starts off with the same high tempo blasting and tremolo picking as every other song does, but eventually it slows down and takes on a more "epic" feel, very similarly to some of the songs found on vocalist Travis Ryan's main band Cattle Decapitation's magnum opus Monolith of Inhumanity
, ending with a mixture of piano and Middle Eastern percussion that wouldn't feel too out of place on a Nile record. Sadly, however, these three songs, great as they may be, are unable to make up for the rest of the songs, which are all very nondescript while not necessarily being poorly written.
I have a bone to pick with the mix on this album. It takes the Hate Eternal route of being really stupidly loud, and while I honestly don't mind it in music such as this since it's meant to add to the atmosphere the music is trying to create (unlike something like the instances on the new Black Sabbath album where it starts to audibly clip and it's really goddamn distracting), I do take issue with the drums and the vocals being quieter than the guitars. Usually in modern metal album production, the reverse is the common fault, but in the case of My Ears vs. Results
, this album is charged with crimes against proper levels and it loses via unanimous decision. Both are still audible, but they're very obviously quieter than the guitars, which is a bit of an issue for me as Danny Walker and Travis Ryan are the most interesting guys on this record. Walker puts the blasting chops he made famous in Exhumed to good use, tirelessly beating the ever loving crap out of his kit with reckless abandon. Travis Ryan is Travis Ryan, puking and gurgling with his trademark voice, even at times lapsing into his "screaming-while-singing" voice that he unveiled in further detail on Monolith of Inhumanity
. It might be considered more of a nitpick to someone who is both not a drummer and factors proper volume levels greatly into his or her opinion of a record as I do, but it just bugs the hell out of me that the two best elements of the music are much quieter than they should be. At least here, while quite loud, you can never hear the artificial distortion from overcompression (again, looking at you 13
That's honestly about all one can say about an album like Results
. Murder Construct obviously gave a ***, but the songs pretty much being identical in construction as well as the problems with the mix make this a record that will only keep your attention and interest for no more than three spins at the most. The three songs I mentioned as being a cut above the rest are just about the only reasons to come back to this album, and even then you can just listen to them on their own if you so desire. This really is music that would work much better in a live setting, where people aren't so much concerned with how well the songs are put together as they are about smashing into each other at high speeds and hanging from the ceiling by their legs (we've all seen that at smaller shows like this before, so don't say I'm exaggerating). Again, not badly put together at all, just very samey, and while that may be enough for some people to justify multiple listens, it quite simply isn't enough for me.