Adrenalized
Operation Exodus


3.0
good

Review

by MarsKid USER (34 Reviews)
February 11th, 2019 | 9 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Including the kitchen sink might have fun, but it'll cost a bit.

Managing a brand isn’t all it’s cracked up to, if it’s cracked up to be anything other than a headache. There’s a constant struggle regarding what a band wants to play that ends up looking like a tug-of-war: evolve or stick to the ‘formula.’ Every instrument chosen and every note played is a separate ingredient in the arduous process of crafting an album, making it all the more tempting to stick to tried-and-trued methodology rather than experimentation. After all, branching off from a core sonic identity tends to result in half a given fanbase rushing to the nearest comments section, Angry reacts at the ready. What inevitably is lost in translation is the sweet middle ground of advancing the formula—fine-tune what’s already in the pot. The last time the world heard from Spain’s resident melodic-hardcore speed-riffers Adrenalized, they were cooking up a delicious concoction that relied heavy on sweet melodies bound by an aggressive bite to really make the dish pop. Plenty of other restaurants up and down the block may have been serving the same fare, but not quite as many seemed to portray the passionate, animated aesthetic of the scene to the same degree. For any returning customer, it can just as easily be said that Operation Exodus does not deviate far from the menu, though the ultimate taste left on the tongue (read: eardrums) might not bring about the exact same experience.

Hardcore certainly hasn’t shielded up the fact that it likes to attack as quickly as possible, but to anyone that lacks previous exposure to Adrenalized, clarification is key: whereas fellow acts stir together their contents fast, spinning the ladle madly about in a circle, these gents from Basque take everything—even the kitchen sink—and cram it into microwave. The listener receives an explosion of expressive guitar playing that races around in circles through various progressions and solos, each chord striving to be undeniably memorable. Adrenalized seem to structure their songs in a pop-esque manner that is buttressed by powerful clean vocals, laser-sharp harmonies, and a build-up to an anthemic chorus meant to be screamed as loudly and proudly as imaginable. Pick out any single by the energetic quartet and the recipe is evident; tunes such as single “The Story to Believe” aptly illustrate how the band goes about their business, immediately establishing a polished melody as the singing jumps around in the controlled chaos, the drums pounding furiously in the background. A brief instrumental break erupts into the tune’s refrain, the phrase “Someday I know” repeated until audience memorization is assured. Coupled with lyrics dripping with genre-approved commentary on world issues, inequalities, and other bad stuff that keeps people down, this infectious track prompts whomever clicks the arrow to immediately stand up, fist raised.

More or less, Operation Exodus adheres to the aforementioned framework to its greatest extent. Things end up being spiced up just a little bit more by accenting an element that previously went practically unheard: the bass is given a much more prominent voice. Sophomore effort Tales From the Last Generation drowned the oft-ridiculed and simultaneously beloved string instrument beneath the commanding leads; the third record here makes amends by increasing the volume nob, allowing the band to fully function as a unit. Compared to the rapid-fire solo that closes out “The Threshold” or the dual guitar assault that opens “My Three Companions”—both contributors intertwined, joined in harmony then rushing ahead with crushing intensity—the performance doesn’t achieve quite as large a spotlight. The galloping riff that supports “Decide” certainly deserves attention though, as it adds an accompanying punch when it counts and makes the entry all the more intriguing. That extra factor means there’s more going into the bowl, more to enjoy with the senses—the tone of the bass gives it a sort of suave growl—and more to think about after the track concludes. The list of inputs remains untouched outside of that key inclusion, so the resulting smells and palates are familiar.

The trouble is that the feelings are perhaps all too familiar—or not enough. A genre like hardcore, especially when ramped up to incredible tempos, can become susceptible to blending together and losing any touch of originality. Emotional vocal performances, impactful lyricism, and differentiated guitar arrangements end up covering for this in some combination (sometimes one, sometimes all three); having none of those cards on the table or having an overall weak hand compromises the final product. Queue a line-up of “The Story to Believe,” “The Mask” and “See the World Crumble” to witness precisely how these formations sound eerily similar in every sense: introduction, progression, the band’s delivery, and finale. Those are only to name a few guilty moments; more are abound on the record, which also suffers from a deficiency in constructing straightforwardly recognizable melodies ala “Tarkin Doctrine” from the preceding release. Crescendos are executed in no particular manner that makes them distinguishable, since the guitars are more preoccupied sprinting across the land instead of pausing to look at the directions. Entertaining though they may be, Adrenalized’s prose is not to be confused with poetry. An issue further compound by the vigorous bass demonstration is the linear percussion kit, whose formerly engaging beats are revealed to be rapid and not much else. Considering that the group consciously decided it was best to augment the presence of the bass, it is all the more jarring that the fourth member of the collective files in the bare minimum.

Looking back upon the tug-of-war, it’s difficult to determine where Adrenalized stand in the battle. On one hand, the recipe has been improved, but the boat hasn’t been rocked too hard to buck the fanbase off into the waters. On the other hand, anyone that walked through the axiomatic restaurant doors expecting—maybe even hoping—for something separate from the norm is destined to exit carrying disappointment in their take-out bag. A carbon-copy this is not, but it can’t be classified as a definitive valedictory from existing motifs set by the band. Albums are far from simplistic in their creation and pleasing a crowd a laborious task; that stated, it’s equally hard to shake off the feeling that all the pieces were there for Operation Exodus to be an early-year banger, yet it stuck too close to a safe zone. Aspects were added or edited and others went under the radar. In doing so, Adrenalized have crafted songs that are familiar but not memorable, virtuosic but not divergent, spirited but not special. Sitting down and going through the brief duration of the disc is definitely fun and consequently brings about instances of foot-tapping sing-alongs. Nothing is wrong with a fast-paced, fun album, but it can’t be expected to be more or less memorable then the best local drive-thru window.



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user ratings (4)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
MarsKid
February 10th 2019


8576 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Still livin' the 2019 life boys. This came out the end of last month. Was a big fan of their previous material, but this didn't quite stack up. Maybe you'll agree, maybe not!



Stream it on bandcamp: https://adrenalized.bandcamp.com/album/operation-exodus



Album is also available on Spotify.



Comments, criticism, additional dialogue, lengthy monologues, essays fully detailing why Adam Sandler is actually a con-man all welcome.

Digging: Wounds (USA-IL) - Light Eater

Papa Universe
February 11th 2019


19684 Comments


he made me go see Pixels. VOLUNTARILY! he did that somehow and I cannot get that money back. if that is not a master of con, I don't know what is.

operation exoPOS and I shan't be listening

anatelier
February 11th 2019


2549 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i liked it more than i anticipated

MarsKid
February 12th 2019


8576 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks for reading boys

AdolfChrist
February 12th 2019


19800 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Every instrument chosen and every note played is a separate ingredient in the arduous process of crafting an album, making it all the more tempting to stick to tried-and-trued methodology rather than experimentation."



i was afraid this would be the case with this album. im sure ill still like it, just not as much as their other two.

Digging: Mylingar - Doda Vagar

MarsKid
February 12th 2019


8576 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks for stopping by my man. Hope the review was good.



I was torn between a 3.0 and a 3.5 but this just didn't stick like their last one did, couldn't deny it.

AdolfChrist
February 12th 2019


19800 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

review was good as usual, pos'd.



yeah im sure my rating will be somewhere around there too. i liked the singles but another album that just rips off their own sound and causes moments of deja vu is probably gonna be a problem. id better not dislike it though, i already bought the shirt lmao.

MarsKid
February 13th 2019


8576 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ah well, it's still a rad shirt haha. Plus Tales still bangs so there's that m/

AdolfChrist
February 23rd 2019


19800 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this was a fun jam. its getting a little redundant by now, but they sure know how to riff and make you want to mosh in your living room.



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