This quaint little EP features a trio of four minute tracks consisting of Melo-Death (don’t you hate that term?) which is relatively low-key and altogether typical. Rhythmically CLOSER are relatively similar to a Thrash act, pounding your skull with up-tempo compositions and straying from this accord only to toss in a slower melodic lead or vocal variation. This formula makes for only slight variation in a somewhat stale album which suffers from continual blandness.
Riffing is often what separates quality from mediocrity and this debut EP is textbook for making the case. “Darkness In Me” is not horrible or particularly weak, it simply is not full of life and never manages to grab your attention. The watered down Thrash riff-work always remains par for the course sounding like a mix of THE HAUNTED and IN FLAMES. Nothing ever really happens and any foreseeable climax is wholeheartedly avoided.
I do actually enjoy the production which is a bit rougher than the norm for this sub-genre. There’s a slight static buzz to the axes and it gives the riffing a bit more of a bite than the alternative. While this does not manage to save the compositions from the dense stale air surrounding their invention, it does pique interest in a minor fashion and allows for a solid foundation which acts as serviceable background music.
CLOSER certainly possess inklings of promise, but I’m far from sold on their direction. The riffing could use an injection of intensity and the song-writing would benefit from a face-lift. Most forms of artistic medium are cluttered with acts which never quite live up to expectations, and at this point I would have to lump this five-piece in with the clutter.
(Online April 7, 2007)