Sometimes when putting together a piece of work, be it a work of art or something as simple as a meal, you throw in many different ingredients and hope the outcome is equal or even better than the sum of the parts. Unfortunately, often the mix comes apart and you get nothing but a fragmented botch-job where you can sense each part yet it has no positive relation to the others. Such is the outcome on “Consumption Is Freedom?”, the new album from Germans GOD OF EMPTINESS.
Early on in the album the band tries to deliver on their promise of Death Metal mixed with a dose of Grind, and they do this in a fashion yet it is one that never fully won me over. The songs lack a quality of visceral throttling that you expect from this brand of Metal and also they are found wanting in good songwriting; the songs are too bland and too one dimensional, even when they attempt tempo shifts. You get a taste of the likes of VADER but without the stand-out riffs and pummelling fury that seems to tease on the musical horizon. Just as you think things may get better with the decent “Nihil” the band then goes plain weird with the Punk enthused “Columbo Is God”, a song that maintains no coherent sense whatsoever. ‘Weltkrieg” attempts to put the band back into blast territory but it does so with little in the way of ingenuity or meaningful structure.
By the time you get through the next half-dozen or so songs you might be wondering what GOD OF EMPTINESS is attempting, as each track either goes mental (in a bad way) or simply does nothing but sit and stew in rehashed sounding riffs and stale drumming. It’s when you get to “Music For Masses” you start to wonder if the band isn’t just throwing a whole bunch of shit against a wall and seeing what sticks? The song is their seeming desire to foray into the world of Techno Metal and is a complete disaster, never knowing which way to turn or what its true nature is. There is a Techno quality to the drumming throughout the album, but this track is straight-up programmed and so out of place it is jarring. After a few more efforts in the more brutal camp, the band then ends with two odd and terrible stabs at far more mainstream sounding Rock, neither which are of any quality whatsoever. “Fashionstyle Bastard” even conjures some blasting after almost three minutes of Rock-n-Roll and is such a disjointed song you are left wondering just what the fuck the band is after? The last song is just as bad; another Rock endeavour with either samples or poorly recorded spoken words over the mundane beat and simple guitars. A complete mess.
(Online June 28, 2008)