Hmm… isn’t a waratah an Australian flower? Well, for the purpose of this review the term (with an extra ‘t’) refers to a French Progressive Thrash band whose “Distorsion” (sic) I will be reviewing here. You didn’t think I was going to write about indigenous Aussie flowers, now did you? If you want that go to the Flower Observer…
OK, now that that pointless little rant is out of the way, let’s get down to business. After just one listen it was clear that these guys have a couple of well worn MESHUGGAH, MACHINE HEAD and LAMB OF GOD CDs in their collections, as this demo is marked by the jarring rhythms of the former band, the vocal approach of the middle band, and the Groovy (Post)Thrash of the latter band. I’ve never particularly cared much for MESHUGGAH, so the inclusion of those wild stop-go riffs and atonal rhythm tendencies didn’t quite do the trick for me. But apart from that this demo is a really solid effort from a bunch of obviously talented individuals. When they decide to rock out (i.e. play a riff that doesn’t jump 200 different directions) the songs really begin to kick ass, something the textured drumming ably assists in. These moments are, unfortunately, overshadowed by the more jarring moments of the demo where you don’t know whether to shoegaze, headbang, or jump to the music. It’s not bad music per se, but it’ll take a few spins to get used to.
Despite the unfocused nature of the demo there are more than a few moments that made me sit up and notice, chief among them the chorus of “Song To A Close Friend” (great underlying riffing here too) and the heavier, more straightforward Thrash of “The Void”. Another plus is the production, which, for a demo, is as sterling as it can get.
If these guys just iron out a few kinks in the music (make it a bit more linear, and Thrash out instead of chug out) and then I’m sure they’ll enthrall more than a few metalheads, as their music is certainly varied and intricate enough to satisfy those who crave just a bit more than the average.
(Online August 22, 2007)