Review Summary: The noose is tied; we’ve just got to wait for the drop and the tell-tale twang of the rope.
Imagine the very fear of being dragged across a dirt courtyard, dirty, manacled and afraid. Scents of old sweat and over-perfumed sex mingle with the crisp clean air of an otherwise normal day. Imagine the panic as you’re pushed into a line of waiting souls, all set upon by the same fate and those souls are looking defiantly at their pending doom as it drops, swings and twitches in the death jerk of those marched up on the rickety wooden stand before a hooded and smiling executioner, only to be lowered and reset for the noose’s next victim. If that’s not a mindset
nothing else is.
South African based Facing The Gallows have made a splash with their debut full-length in the few short weeks of releasing Dead Mindset
but unfortunately, it’s for all the wrong reasons. Muddy, undistinguishable guitar tones meet stereotypical growls that litter the very genre of metalcore. Add to that the lacklustre, uninspired cleans that dominate the group’s vocal efforts and we’re left with an album not even worthy of a second spin. Dead Mindset
fails to deliver on the very standards of a genre watered down by countless same sounding acts into a highly forgettable tirade lasting fifty-five minutes.
Fairly, the point could be argued that I’m taking shots at the genre at a whole. Despite my misgivings of what metalcore used to be able to offer listeners, and the emotive sing-a-long chorus’ that would incite fist punching and head banged emotions only to be heightened by a sense of contextual lyricism that ultimately engages the listener on a relatable level there’s a lot of simple elements that Facing The Gallows overlook. Simply put, Dead Mindset
tries too hard to transcend what’s expected from a debut release with this potential. The band try to bridge their brand of melodic with outright intensity, heavy with misguided melancholy and unfortunately fall short of bringing together exactly what’s needed to bring both music and listener together.
After a while the album’s sheer runtime of almost an hour becomes an issue, dragging the listener from one track to the next. Dead Mindset
becomes monotonous and atonal, built off the band’s very soundscapes and similar musical structuring. Instrumentally it’s easy to see that this Johannesburg metal group are capable of playing their instruments. If only they paid more attention to the overall tone from the string slingers and the similarities making each and every track undistinguishable from the next. Overall, Dead Mindset
is a largely missed opportunity for Facing The Gallows’ debut. The typical metalcore soundscapes of this “we want to be something more” band fail to inspire and impress. For new listeners, Dead Mindset
is exactly nothing different. For older fans of metalcore, the record shows a stale representation of the genre as a whole.
Facing The Gallows’ debut album defines the trepidation of being walked to your proverbial end, but not in any way that could be considered fruitful or truly enjoyable. Dig a little deeper and you find that the once clean air of any day can be ruined by a never ending stench of decay and bowels loosening.