Free CDs are always nice notion. Of course everyone can download albums, but when you actually are given a free CD it is neat stuff, since you actually get the booklet and all of the other goodies. Yes in my case I was given a Victory Records package of about 5 records from my girlfriend (her dad owns a record store) and while not my first choice, it is free music and I was more than happy to take it off of her hands when given the chance. Browsing through the collection I came across A Perfect Murder
a band’s name I had previously heard, most likely on Headbangers Ball late one night. Well at the time I was in the mood for something on the heavy side, and just their name suggests that this record will be heavy. That it did live up to, but practically failed to come even close to impressing me. As generic as the name may seem, the music is worse. I thought it would be a bit longer before I heard a record that was not even worthy of a 1.5, but folks that day is today and this is the album. I will do my best not to make this a biased review, because truth be told I have nothing what so ever against the band. With that out of the way, let me just add that this might be the worst record I have heard in recent times.
The record kicks off with the title track, and while a little standard, the intro is not so bad. It is on the speedy side, but very soon the riff becomes tiresome. I will come back to this later, as an even bigger problem arises as soon as the vocals come into play. Vocally and lyrically this record is bar none the most horrible I have ever heard. The lyrics are not only poorly written, but meaningless, immature, and just down right sad. JT from Hawthorne Heights
looks like a genius when put up to this record. NO WAY! Want proof?
Originally Posted by Strength Through Vengeance
Never will I be, never will you see
All the *** you eat, just to survive
Just to be a part of a corrupt being,
All for what? All for nothing
Piss on the world, don’t pick up their slack
Never give an inch back, break the ***ing cycle!
*** everyone and everything, *** all that exists and in between
Yikes! And to think that is merely a quarter of the lyrics. They manage to drop the f-bomb a total of 11 times by my count in the opening track. Please someone send them back to English 101 and teach them a bit about extensive vocabulary. The message the song attempts to carry is quite feeble as well, but those lyrics are just plain atrocious. Now it is obvious that this band must scream as a result of those angst-filled lyrics, but the worst part is that you can understand the lyrics despite the vocal style. Lyrics aside, the screaming itself is truly painful to listen to. Its sound resembles a forced, phlegm filled screech you would expect to hear at an awful local high school band show. While screaming dominates most of the record, there are some times when there are attempts at singing. I am going to say this truthfully, do not think this is bias; the first time you hear the singing you will probably come inches away from falling out of your chair in laughter. Wake Up and Die
is a prime example of the just plain laughable singing. As far as specifics regarding the singing, it can be difficult to say what exactly is wrong with it aside from its poor tone. It sounds extremely off key and awkward, as the type of music they play really is not very inviting or fitting for singing. And that brings up the next point…instrumentals.
Well if vocals and lyrics are that horrible, are the instruments any better? Yes as a matter of fact they are, and that is for the sole reason that it is borderline impossible to get worse. The intro of the first track contains a decent intro, which sets the pace for the record. It also sets what is going to be played for the rest of the record, as the riffs are constantly recycled. For the most part, guitar parts are poorly executed down tuned riffs with a lot of palm mutes on the low string. We all know the formula, as many bands do it. It is not the most original, but some groups can make it work. Unfortunately, while A Perfect Murder
exercises this formula in almost every song, they still are unable to do so successfully. Things sound bland, uninspired, and as previously stated, recycled. In fact, songs as a whole do very little to separate themselves, and as a result not a whole lot about this record is ear catching or memorable. One will notice the solos present however, as those come out as well during the first track. Have you ever heard someone play seven notes tremolo picked for 20 seconds and call it a solo? Would you like to? Did not think so but if you answered yes check out the title track here. Clearly they believe solos should be about shredding, yet they do not even do that adequately. The few attempts of creating melodic solos fail as well, as things sound like average lead lines at best. As far as I’m concerned the most successful some guitar wise is Path Of Resistance
. Its clean intro sets a bit of an eerie mood and is a nice change of pace from the rest of the record. There is even a nicely done lead line at the end, and all 8 seconds of it make it one of the few guitar highlights. With a few exceptions, guitars do quite little to pull the music out of its generic and bland state, but very surprisingly neither do the drums. Usually if nothing else, some flashy double bass or a speedy fill will catch the listener by surprise. Disappointment once again, as when used the double pedal just becomes tiresome and overdone. Beats contain little variation, and fills are completely missing in most cases. Some decent fills come out during Suffocation of Thought
which is one drum highlight. For the most part the drummer resembles a metronome with arms and legs as beats are simple, straightforward, and consistently dreadful. The instrumental section as a whole is just not very strong. Its repetitive nature only adds to the negative aspects which are already overflowing.
By this point, hope is practically lost. For a brief recap, vocals and lyrics are awful, the instruments are barely better, and the overall sound is becoming very recycled and predictable. There is quite the overuse of breakdowns, as it seems that APM likes to use them as a lead in for solos. While breakdowns are used somewhat frequently, they are actually performed satisfactory. Part of that might be that the riffs and solos are unpleasant and expectations are already lowered, or the breakdowns might actually be acceptable. Whatever the case may be, it is sad that predictable breakdowns are a highlight for the instrumental section in some songs. I will make one positive statement however; if you can somehow make it to the end of the record, you will be greeted by a good song. While the title may cause a cringe, Slay The Masses
actually ends up to be a fairly good song. The opening riff is a bit recycled, but drums play some enjoyable beats on the toms. There is a hint of dissonance on one of the riffs which sounds quite neat actually due to its careful placement. At about two minutes another nice riff kicks in, once again drums accenting it with some nice rolls. It gets harmonized and actually distinguishes itself from the rest of the record. Than it happens, some quality double bass over a nice chug based riff. This provides quite the build up for the vocal outro. As the record comes to a close, the words too little too late will definitely pop into one’s head. If the previous songs were at the quality of Slay The Masses
, the record would be at least average. Sadly, that is not the situation at all but at least things end on a good note.
If not clear by now, there are many factors which make this record unappealing. First and for most, the vocals and lyrics are very weak, lyrics especially. The writing is just extremely poor and the subjects are silly. Screaming is nothing special at all and the singing is just laugh out loud funny due to its awkward placement and tone. While the guitarists are capable of writing some decent riffs, rarely do they distinguish themselves from one another, as things blend together due to the similar sound. Solos are seemingly thrown in just for the sake of letting the listen know they can play fast, as the leads fail to accent the song’s emotion. Drums once again are capable of fills, yet for the most part the listener will be clueless to this, as beats become tiresome most of the time. For some strange reason the band just does not seem to take advantage of the aspects of talent they possess. These traits are shown throughout the last song, the very traits that must have called out sick for the other 10 songs here on the record. Unfortunately, when a band fails to capitalize on what strengths they have for the majority of a record, the result will be extremely poor. That is most certainly the case here; as while the murder might be perfect, Strength Through Vengeance
is far from it.
Final Rating: 1/5