There are mainly two kinds of albums that I don’t care for. In the first instance, I just think the record in question sucks, which may be attributed to myriad reasons. In the second instance, I feel that the record is good but I just don’t get it; I’m not able to grasp its worth for inexplicable reasons. The fourth full-length from THEE MALDOROR KOLLECTIVE – “A Clockwork Highway” – falls into the latter category.
With this code666 representative, we receive a sound that is greatly derived from synthesizers. Yeah, this is Electronica/Industrial-fused Metal that offers many interesting features. For starters, there’s haunting soundclips pasted all over “A Clockwork Highway.” Don’t believe me? Check out the introductions to “Dopecity,” “An Affecter Of Change,” and “Primates” if you’re slightly unsure of my assertion. However, I found myself disliking the processed vocalizations due to their proclivity to run rampant and, moreover, most songs were of manageable length except for the way-too-long “An Effecter Of Change.” “Babilonia Café,” though, is a welcome respite from the darkness with its utilization of Middle Eastern instrumentation, upbeat tempos and unexpected quirkiness. In addition, even at their cheeriest moments, THEE MALDOROR KOLLECTIVE drip with gloom.
Despite being riveted at certain points, “A Clockwork Highway” lagged too often. Will I be ditching THEE MALDOROR KOLLECTIVE’s album after this review is written? I’ll answer that with a resounding no. I can’t possibly bear to part with it now, because I have witnessed its innate worth firsthand. Code666 is a fantastic label (one of the best in Metal today), so I believe I’ll stick with something else from ‘em. In short, though, I wanted more flare. (Online July 20, 2005)