Review Summary: Quest of Aidance drop their grind origins for a more streamlined, equally enjoyable approach.
It’s rare to find a modern band reinventing the metal wheel, mainly because there’s little left to reinvent. Everything has been done from sweeping orchestral arrangements atop wistful guitar leads and blast beats, to the grittiest, dirtiest brutal death metal that decimates your ears in the most pleasant way possible. So with the debut album of Quest of Aidance, Misanthropic Propaganda
, it’s hard to criticize it for not bringing anything new to the table, as the table is essentially full. Quest of Aidance is just another player in the field trying their own hand at metal, and after only two short EPs, both being under 15 minutes, Quest of Aidance makes a surprisingly focused and developed debut album in a genre that’s almost totally played out.
Right off the bat, Misanthropic Propaganda
is noticeably different than its preceding EPs. Elements of grindcore are completely gone, bar the 43-second centerpiece ‘Anyx’, and the unpredictability and insanity that goes hand in hand with grind are leveled into a streamlined melodic death metal approach. Bear with me for a moment and think of Misanthropic Propaganda
as a cheeseburger: The anthemic opener ‘A New Storm Rising’, tremolo-picked and blast beat-laced ‘Deadly Viral Strain’ and ‘The 5th Column’, and my personal favorite, ‘Section 34’, serve as the album’s cheese, being almost wholly melodic and using the occasional synth lead to add an extra dose of flavor. ‘Section 34’ in particular differentiates itself from the rest by having an infectious main riff and an interesting breakdown (an anomaly if I’ve ever seen one) alternating between a triplet feel and a standard 4/4 groove for a very cool swaying effect. ‘Seething Voids’, ‘To No Avail’, ‘Dimout’, and ‘Spawnslayer’ serve as the album’s beef, satisfying the inner head banger in all of us with crushing riff after crushing riff. And of course, we have the condiments – ‘Sothis Allegro’ and ‘Sirian Breed’ – mixing things up with a blissful acoustic guitar solo in the former and full orchestra arrangements in the latter. Cliché burger metaphors aside, Quest of Aidance change things up quite a bit during the album’s modest 44-minute runtime without ever going over the top or straying too far outside their comfort zone.
Herein lies the problem with Misanthropic Propaganda
: there’s really nothing new to be found here, and repeatedly throughout the album you’ll be left thinking “haven’t I heard this before?” Regardless, it’s rare for a debut album to sound as wholesome and genuine as Misanthropic Propaganda
, and for just another album in a genre that’s basically been gutted for all its worth, Quest of Aidance make it sound refreshingly authentic, and their streamlined death metal approach is bound to appeal to many metal lovers.