Life’s a beautiful thing sometimes… but the world also spews out it’s fair share of disorder, you got poverty, crime, pollution, war, hunger, madness, violence, with these rotten attributes many lives on earth are filled up with anger, frustration and sorrow, this band is all about that, I bid you welcome to the world of THE PROVENANCE. The Swedish band belongs to the newly spawned generation of Progressive Gothic Metal, I’m not familiar with any of their albums but I asked for this one hoping for a mind numbing experience and got it, now then, how would you like to be spat at?
Yes, it’s a title that says “f**k you” in a lot of ways but it also tells the tale of eventless misery and no hope dawning the mourning after. As far as their music goes, it’s not that progressive, well, it’s hard to categorise at first but Experimental Doom Goth Metal fits them perfectly considering their state of mind. The songs are slow, aching even absurd sometimes, the down hearting character of every single moment of this album is hard to sit through, not because I’m not strong enough to inhale the depression, the problem is variation in tempos and overall arrangements, it’s much like CROWBAR’s overblown sludge driven music really, only it’s not utterly boring.
The compositional skills are there, the songs are well put together, the experimental guitar sounds a touch of solitude that haunts forever, drums go tribal here and there, fucked up keyboard mastery, three songs would’ve been enough. On ten tracks you’ll get the same sadness and the quality of the album quickly reverses from semi great to unsatisfactory averageness, pity.
Ok that’s a little harsh there, I’d say it’s a good album, nothing more, it’s as if the band is headed for stagnation after four songs, playing the same song over again. Good tracks with puzzling titles like “Catching Scarlet In The Sun”, “Some Gossip On Stealing A Spouse” and “Considering The Gawk, The Drool, The Bitch And The Fool” are catchy to some extent, in a dark kind of way. “Going Down” is the best track in my opinion, the band’s more energised on this song and the female vocals are pleasantly numbing.
Vocals, both male and female, further enhance the album’s theme of life’s fragility and nakedness, not the best I’ve heard in the genre but definitely not bad either. Having a dirty and average sound doesn’t endanger the songs, it suits them perfectly as they’re supposed to bring reality’s unforgiving grip straight to your room.
The world on “How Would You Like To Be Spat At” is helpless, think of THE PROVENANCE as friends of the isolated, so if you’re feeling low, prepare to receive your new possessors, hail sadness and place of gloom! (Online March 18, 2005)