SINCE THE DAY bursts forth with a brand of Metalcore that, despite all odds, is actually quite refreshing. “El Mensajero No Es Importante” is the German’s debut album and literally translates to “The Messenger Is Not Important”. The messenger may not be important but the message of violence and seething anger certainly is. The lethality of the album is established early through a multitude of unique influences which have yet remained untapped in this ever-widening genre and project a feeling of disgust only amplified by the spastic postal worker who has finally gone off his rocker delivering his last parcel.
The first thing that shook the foundation I was standing on was the ferocious guitar tone completely devoid in most modern Metal outings. Friedrich and Sebastian shred sick riff after sick riff producing this nasty tone reminiscent of a slightly cleaned up Black Metal guitarist (yes, you read that correctly). The influence is not outright huge but it is noticeable to the point of effecting the overall compositions and adding a hint of unique colour to the penned songs. Solos pop up in a couple instances as well but these are more conventional in the sense of conforming to their current peers and mainly consisting of melodic passages.
This Black Metal influence, whether intentional or accidental, creeps up in another element as well; Daniel’s vocals. The chosen approach is a throaty yell which is one part hardcore and one part Black Metal (think a slightly mellower Nocturno Culto). This may sound completely odd (which it is) but it somehow works in the context of the compositions and heightens the intensity of the album. Backing vocals are offered by Friedrich which consist of a deeper Death Metal growl and are highly effective in coming out of nowhere and ripping your throat out.
So far, so good; right? We have melodic yet ferocious guitars and rough vocals, both containing hints of Black Metal and offering an experience altogether alien to that of their contemporaries. Unfortunately the album aims to please but does not always hit its mark. The clean vocals featured in several tracks are not altogether impressive. Additionally they do not seem to fit in with the song structures and appear forced and boring. The listener is fortunate in the fact that the clean technique does not consist of the typical melodic lines which flirt with Emo (or Screamo if you want to be goddamn technical) styling but are a bit rougher than the norm.
“El Mensajero No Es Importante” also suffers from the fact that a complete listen all the way through offers no diversity and the compositions sound alike in most regards. The band struggles with crafting material which strikes out and grabs you by the throat. Everything here is solid (except for one exception) and certainly warrants a listen but does not slam your goddamn face into the wall and skin you alive. On top of this, the last track is god awful. They seem to have traded in their somewhat original Metalcore façade for an OPETH tribute sound and “Mascara Eyes” is completely redundant, unoriginal and damn alienating. It features the typical soft/heavy alternation and clean vocals which aspire to Mikael but ultimately fail. This is ultimately a huge let-down in closing the album and the track should have just been stricken to begin with.
While SINCE THE DAY certainly possesses several minor flaws “El Mensajero No Es Importante” is definitely a worthwhile effort. Unique and ferocious riffing give way to an all too rare instrumental (“Silva”) and even a passage of blast beats during “Powder Keg”. The marriage of Black Metal and Metalcore is certainly unconventional but ultimately works in the bands favor and establishes their debut as a force to be reckoned with. Heavy goddamn riffs and veritable energy have put SINCE THE DAY on the map and a bright future certainly lurks not too far ahead. (Online December 7, 2005)