A Consequence of Design



by Bjack USER (1 Reviews)
June 13th, 2008 | 8 replies

Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Epicurean aim high...and fall short.

There are two general ways in which I listen to music. One is when the music is primary, and whatever else I may be doing is not consuming enough to distract from my full attention to the music. The second way is when I am engaged in some other activity, be it work, sport, driving, etc., where my mind is not completely focused on the music. The first two times through Epicurean’s A Consequence of Design were of the latter version. And while such listens aren’t sufficient to provide an accurate review of an album, I knew that an eventual review, after a complete listen, would reflect the fact that very rarely during my two run-throughs of ACOD at work did I stop to pay attention to an interesting riff, chorus, or solo.

On their official website, Epicurean defines their “true character” as the “ability to create what cannot be defined.” In actuality, they are simply an overreaching, progressive-ish melodic thrash act, combining the speed and riffing of thrash, with symphonic background keys, and a mixture of singing and various forms of the scream/growl. They are certainly a talented bunch of instrumentalists, and their debut is of solid production. But when a band lacks songwriting, well…

I guess one can’t fault this band’s effort. (They are, after all, trying to please. According to their Myspace page, the band name refers to the devotion to hedonistic pleasure.) But it seems like Epicurean is trying too hard to win the “best all around camper” award in the camp of metal. They keep one foot in the more extreme side of metal, with their aggressive riffing and death-style vocals, and another foot in the more accessible, melodic side. They are continuously speedy, and yet they really can be defined by their use of keys and clean-vocal choruses. Unfortunately, all these elements do not add up to a solid whole.

Few of the riffs or solos, and none of the keyboard work, really grab the listener’s attention. What does, however, are the horrific choruses, employing the clean vocals of John Laramy. It’s not so much his voice that bothers, but the bombastic and poppy melodies, which often burst in out of place, and oozing with cheese. In addition, at an average of over 5 minutes a song, it is very hard to sit through full songs without skipping to the next.

To my ear, the songs tend to bleed into each other. The first noteworthy part on the album is the (somewhat) good guitar work in "Dividing the Distance,” and to be honest, that is pretty much it. Only two songs later, one must sit through the seven-plus-minute bore fest that is “Anathema.” Finishing off the album are three forgettable tracks in the by-now-tired Epicurean vein of thrashy verses with growling vocals giving way to bad choruses, and eventually a technically impressive, but tedious and dull solo.

Having listened to this album because of a good review in Metal Maniacs, I was dismayed to come to the conclusion that, after three listens, my ears may never hear the sound of A Consequence of Design again.

user ratings (30)
other reviews of this album
CrippleGod (3.5)
Epicurean is a melodic metal band that borrows heavily from the European sound à la Soilwork with a...

Comments:Add a Comment 
June 13th 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

hmm..good review but i actually like this album. its not amazing or anything but it at least warrants a 3 from me

June 13th 2008


Welcome to the site. Excellent first review I might add as well. Nicely written.

I've never heard of these guys. They sound interesting enough and I will probably give them a shot.

June 20th 2008


I've heard the song Lithograph and it was pretty awesome. I'll probably check out the rest of this album.

Digging: Swallow the Sun - The Morning Never Came

July 27th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

I thought this was a really good cd. It reminds me of skyfire in a lot of parts and some of cob. The clean vocals definitely weaken the songs, thankfully theres not a whole lot of them. Next cd, they should get rid of any clean vocals and that will make for an even better cd.

July 29th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

actually i found this album pretty good

and the clean vocals were actually very good

it was just off on where they decided to put it

it didnt feel like it flowed perfectly between growls and clean vocals. it seemed kinda choppy

as fas as the music goes it was pretty good

not the most original but good

November 6th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

this is actually a pretty good cd. i quite enjoy it everytime i listen to it.

March 2nd 2010


Album Rating: 3.0

i find the keys way too loud and annoying, way too much emphasis on them

July 27th 2016


Album Rating: 4.0

I like this album a lot it grew on me with more listens. I seen these guys twice live got this cd, and then they disappeared.

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