A Life Once Lost
A Great Artist



by 0m3ga0n3 USER (1 Reviews)
February 21st, 2010 | 10 replies

Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Did Meshuggah and Lamb of God have a baby?

If I were to limit this album to one specific genre I’d have to go with “Groovecore” with the intensely rhythmic riffs, high-velocity breakdowns, rough vocals, and the ambient elements weaved in-between all of these. A Life Once Lost uses a mixture of the complex time-signatures and repetitive grooves many associate to Meshuggah and the mainstream sounding breakdowns of Lamb of God to create “A Great Artist.” So here’s A Great Artist:

Track 1: Surreal Atrocities
The maiden track of the album begins with a heavy riff handing, materializing itself again throughout the song several times. As the song progresses, however, several ambient guitar layers begin to make the song not so monotonous. In fact, not monotonous at all. The rhythmic ideas of the song leave the listener struggling to grasp the downbeat of each measure but never takes away from a head banging and flow. The vocals are the perfect fit of the style and, like that of Jens Kidman, the lack of variation does not detract. My only complaint is that the drum does not provide anything complex past keeping a 4/4 feel for most of the song. 2.5/5

Track 2: Cavil
Another intense groove begins pumping out followed by another “core-y” riff characterized by the pinch harmonics. The solo guitar layer is good but doesn’t seem to add much and could have been left out. The vocalist, Robert Meadows’, flexibility shines a little on this song. He stays away from a monotone scream (for the most part). The drummer also shows off his talent better although his abilities still pale in comparison to Haake, or even Adler. The lyrical ideas are a bit unoriginal however the diction is quite the opposite: “Certain words evoked this beast from you” A decent song 3/5

Track 3: The Change Came Suddenly
The lyrics of this song are stunning: “Can I spread frustration without speaking" Without parting my lips except to breathe"” and “I succumb to you, idol. This subconscious social vampire who haunts every thought I choke on. The will to demand patience, only to find myself swallowing blood ” As for the other elements of the song, the tempo slows down noticeably from the other tracks of the album providing a refreshing change from the quick pace of the first songs. The riffs in this song at first sound a bit choppy and disconnected however through multiple listens, one begins to notice feel the flow better. The drums are very complimentary of the guitar riffs and provide a much better effort. One of my favorite songs of the album. 4.5/5

Track 4: Nevermore Will They Have An Understanding…
This song is the jewel of this album. From the beginning dissonant chords, to the blisteringly heavy beat laid down right after, to the poetic and meaningful lyrics, to the melodic harmonies of the guitars, to the intense breakdowns, this song is masterfully crafted. The drums make up for their lack of complexity with their variable groove and feel. The solo is fitting and tasteful and the rhythm guitar riff beneath it is perfect.5/5

Track 5: …In Anything Done Under The Sun
The haunting melody that ends the previous song starts this one and the guitar solo provides a fitting compliment to it. The song is short, though, and the end of it is only a radio tuning between stations which is completely unnecessary, though it doesn't last as long as other bands insist on having their static and other white noise tracks last. 3.5/5

Track 6: Maudlin
A bit like the beginning songs of the album. The lyrics of this song are that of a stereotypical deathcore song and the tempo is the same of most of the other songs. Here is where the album begins to be overly-repetitive, though it isn't all bad (listen to Catch Thirty-Three). A few ambient elements are thrown in again and add some flavor to the song but it is too similar to the first 2 tracks. 2.5/5

Track 7: Pious
A great rebound to the previous song, the grooves become a bit more melodic, reminiscent of Gojira The guitar work is a lot more technical and creates a discord of sheer amazement. The vocals remain strong and complimentary and the lyrics return to a more poetic approach. 4/5

Track 8: The Wicked Will Rot
Here, the album returns to the monotony it just escaped with "pious" though the short interludes do spice up some elements. Not much more to be said 3/5

Track 9: Overwhelming
This song is where the hardcore influences of the band are most apparent, similar to that of Norma Jean. The vocals burst out strong and the riffs remain heavy and groovin' but not the same as "The Change Came Suddenly" The lyrical aspect of the song is still wonderfully written, however. A strong but slightly dissapointing finish to the album. 3.5/5

So for a quick recap:

High Points:
Vocals and lyrics (discluding maudlin)
The rhythms!! (I'm a sucker for time-signatures)

Low Points:
Redundancy with tracks 1, 2, 6, 8, and 9
Drumming lacks some complexity
"core" for those hardcore haters

Recommended Tracks:
The Change Came Suddenly
Nevermore Will I Have an Understanding...

A good listen for those who enjoy Meshuggah and Lamb of God (as if i couldn't reference them anymore) or any groove metal.

user ratings (95)

Comments:Add a Comment 
February 21st 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

First review. Feedback welcome :D

February 21st 2010


Good review but people don't look too favourably at track by track reviews.

February 21st 2010


I usually hate this stuff but this rules.

February 21st 2010


the track by track would work if the first tracks descriptions weren't 4X longer than the rest of them.

February 21st 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

yeah, it was hard because i wrote them in order and i'd only repeat what i said for the first few tracks if I tried to write the same aspects i had been analyzing. maybe I should've shortened the first ones haha...

February 21st 2010


I wrote a track by track for my Slaughterbox review. go read that one. one thing i did was listen to the songs while i wrote the review. that way i knew what i was thinking of each track as i wrote it, you know?

February 22nd 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

yeah that's what i did too. i listened to it twice. let it sink in. came back later and listened to it again and then wrote the review

June 30th 2012


This bands first two releases and ep were amazing.

Then they went to shit.

September 5th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

i cant get over how much im enjoying this album right now. theres nothing mind blowing about it, but its just a really groovy, enjoyable listen. however almost every riff sounds like it is taken directly off chaosphere, which is a good thing i guess

August 8th 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

Band is pretty underrated here.

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