Whatís worse than HORSE THE BAND? How Ďbout a band that gained fame by opening for HORSE THE BAND. Thatís a little harsh as these guys are leaps and bounds better than the deranged schizophrenic fecal matter of the aforementioned project, but the formula is still composed of relatively dull riffing and altogether alien from anything which is Metal. With spastic axe-work, frequent Hardcore breakdowns, and completely off the wall harmonies which hinge on mimicking the mental faculties of an insane asylum resident, it seems as though one must be equally as fucked up emotionally and psychologically to make sense of this mess.
Perhaps the largest compliment I can give MURDER AVENUE is equating this release to BETHLEHEM violating DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, resulting in an unwanted child who would probably be at home amid a leper colony and staying as far away from civilization as possible. The convoluted hellacious mental breakdown of musical ideas is what particularly conjures this statement, as one can accuse ďRise Upon The Highest FenceĒ of being anything but predictable. The rhythms are so fractured and twisted that a mellow bass riff will all the sudden hit a wall of feedback and give way to methodical drumming which leads to the center-piece of most of the compositions; the stop-start Metalcore riffing which is technical but boring as hell.
Despite the obvious quirks of the resulting sound, the way the band is able to create a seamless transition from one ship-wreck belligerent riff to another is quite remarkable. It would seem a lot of work went into composing the 7 tracks found on this disc, and it quite frankly shows. Even the most jarring leaps from strange synth to blasting riffing to plodding battery come across as amazingly in sync and you canít help but smirk; this in combination with the bandís unremarkable ability to always keep you on your toes and throw curve-ball after curve-ball make for a unique and memorable listen. Unfortunately the content and meat of the album is quite dour and not even close to what I would call an acceptable evolution of what Ozzy and company started back in 1970.
MURDER AVENUE are a Metalcore band for those who desire a dynamic and swirling sound which will never be caged. Bands such as HATEBREED only form the gateway for the bizarre sideshows such as these which certainly boast a rabid and equally misfit following. If you like your watered down Metal completely twisted and fucked up, this Budís for you.
(Online July 3, 2007)