There are some bands that one desperately wants to love, but there is one thing that holds you back. Sometimes it’s a production value on their albums. Sometimes it’s the actual member(s) of the band being complete arrogant people. Sometimes is just one element that makes the album (and/or band) a little less than you could have hoped for. It’s just that way with LIVING CORPSE. With their debut album “Metaphysical Collapse”, I want so bad to love the album, as I should, but for some reason I just can’t get into it.
The band combines a slew of genres into their debut. A bit of Modern Metal here. A dash of Death Metal there. A slight tendency for IRON MAIDEN like melodies splashed in. Lots of Thrash energy to spare. The band sparks a resemblance to DEVILDRIVER in many ways through this ideology of combining the new and the old and in this aspect there has to be respect given to LIVING CORPSE.
They blast through their way on “Metaphysical Collapse” aptly displaying some instrumental flourishes the entire time with the ability to intertwine Modern Metal rhythm sections and older school melodic leads. As it was mentioned prior, this band is tough to categorize. Their riffs are heavy and spark a bit of that Modern Metal sound but the leads and melodies bring that NWOBHM vibe (not unlike a combination known to modern IN FLAMES) with some heavy drum energy and our Metalcore like yelled vocals they just sit in their own corner.
They layer the hell out of this album from beginning to end and although its something that a mature band knows to do, sometimes they needed to pull back a bit and bring forth some of that Southern Groove that they touch on or bring the focus onto a nice hook like lead instead of layering everything. It’s one of the biggest issues that “Metaphysical Collapse” falters on and it’s a pretty big one considering they only pull back a few times on the record and only for a few moments. It’s one of the double edged swords that a band like LIVING CORPSE has to expertly swing.
It must also be mentioned that even though the band is very cunning with their layering, playing, and use of hooks that “Metaphysical Collapse” does run this odd streak of sounding too similar too much of the time. Some of this can be placed into the vocal performances as he tends to do the same style of vocal (a yelling shrill screech) the entire time and it gets a bit tiresome. He found his niche and he stuck to it here, but the album could have definitely used far more variety. Not that the vocals are the sole reason for its rather standard approach, but its one of the bigger factors for it. The band even tends to run a bit of the same by the end and it kills the rather impressive aspect of what their style is.
All in all, LIVING CORPSE just has a few kinks to work out with their writing before they are able to give their best yet. They have a great concept of style and their use of layering is a bombardment of clever use of their band mates, but they need to vary up the music a bit more in the future. It’s a solid release from a new band, but it still smacks of ‘debut album’ a bit too much.
Songs to check out: “Zero Is The Zenith Of The Sun”, “6th Of Aquarius Age”, “Ars Regia”.
(Online June 10, 2010)