Point of Origin



by Nat S. USER (18 Reviews)
February 2nd, 2017 | 2 replies

Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Are we better off unknown?

Let’s get this straight: Point of Origin is not the worst album ever released. If you were to lock this reviewer in a damp, windowless room for two weeks with only a CD player and this CD for company, not only would he most likely come out the other end still sane, but he might even find something to really enjoy about it. Whether he would voluntarily choose it out of all the hundreds of other post-grunge/alternative metal records on offer is another matter entirely. The truth is that what we find on Allele’s debut is something that in 2005 was far from original, and had actually been done considerably better elsewhere. The dark and broody stylings of bands like Breaking Benjamin gave them the charm needed to stick around for a time. Taproot brought a weird, soul-searching brand of lyricism to the table, along with some fairly unpredictable instrumentation. Say what you will about Trapt, the songwriting on Someone in Control was at least decent. This album, meanwhile, takes just about every ‘faceless mid-2000s alt-metal band’ trope, mashes them together into a faintly cohesive end product, and hopes for the best.

Opening two tracks “Fake” and “Different Someone” show some energy on first listen, even though the former song’s intro seems to have been ripped straight from Ill Nino’s “How Can I Live”. Unfortunately, from that point on, the excitement level drops through the floor. The rest of the album is little more than by-the-numbers alternative metal: drop C riffs, mostly inaudible bass and jarring stop-start sections galore. Most of these songs are listenable in themselves, but they just don't do enough to stand out. Lyrically, this isn’t anything you’ve never heard before, either; Allele’s genre isn’t exactly known for its poetic genius, but I’ve got to believe these guys are capable of writing better lines than “I dream for hours on end about a life I could never believe in/Betrayed by what you would say, it comes around again”. “Lies” and “Misunderstood” (cliché alt-metal song titles for the win!) try their best to bring the energy back up towards the end of the album, but it’s then stamped back into the ground by the closer “Unknown”. Nearly everything about this song is generic as all heck, and it ends the record on a definite low.

Wally Ward’s vocals are easily the least enjoyable aspect of this record. When he’s not trying to imitate the ‘yarl’ technique used by such vocalists as Scooter Ward (no relation) and Eddie Vedder, he’s droning through genre-typical angsty lyrics with a flat delivery that makes Drake sound impassioned by comparison. “Immune” is the song on which his vocals are most insufferable, wrecking what would otherwise be a passable ‘slow’ track to keep this album's tracks from blending into one. And the less said about Ward’s screams, the better, although thankfully they only appear on a small fraction of this record. Honestly, if his vocals were improved or just replaced, the album would probably be a lot stronger.

It’s genuinely worrying how little this album has to make it stand out. Considering the members of Allele were previously in such bands as Cold and Otep, both of whom have quite distinct sounds for the most part, I expected a lot more. If it weren’t for those credentials, this might have been an alright first effort. For those who can’t get enough of this genre, Point of Origin will surely have a lot to appreciate. Otherwise, you’re not likely to lose any sleep by giving it a miss. Actually I lie, you are, because there are some moments here that might have you dropping off…

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user ratings (53)
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Wunderbar007 (4.5)
Listening to this band felt like getting second wind during a distance run....

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Comments:Add a Comment 
February 2nd 2017


Album Rating: 2.0

My least positive review to date. Sorry guys. I wanted to like this album a lot more, but it disappointed me.

February 2nd 2017


Album Rating: 3.5

Was listening to this album the other day, it's good stuff.

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