Monday, July 16, 2012

Summary Judgments, Vol. 1

This is sort of a new feature here at Full Metal Attorney. As the number of promos I have access to has increased, I have changed my criteria somewhat for a summary judgment, i.e., a very brief review of something that I didn't listen to all the way through. It may be that I just decided I didn't like it, or it may be that I decided there was no way I could write a full review of it that would be worth reading. Either way, I didn't devote enough time to it to give it a fair shake, so take its appearance here for what it's worth. I'm going to gather up handfuls of these at a time and tell you what my thoughts were, and I'll let you know how far I got into it.

Sophicide: Perdition of the Sublime (2012)
(8 songs out of 11)

Sophicide is one of those technical death metal bands who can't write a song. They are extremely proficient musicians, but the music sounds as if they lifted sections from better bands or reverse-engineered them into something slightly different. How else can you explain the Egyptian-inflected Nile-isms, the Opethian acoustic break, and a Necrophagist buffet of severed parts? It sounds cool, guys, but I've already heard all those bands before, and the some of these combinations do not work.

Preview at Decibel
Buy Perdition of the Sublime

Jess and the Ancient Ones: Jess and the Ancient Ones (2012)
(2 songs out of 7)

Jess and the Ancient Ones is yet another "occult" rock band, this time from Finland. I think I could stand to hear a little more of that genre. They sound almost exactly like The Devil's Blood, except the songs aren't as good. Not even close. The music is more upbeat, and it almost feels like the rhythm section wants to be Iron Maiden quite a bit of the time, which turns out not to be a good fit.

Buy Jess and the Ancient Ones

Darkend: Grand Guignol - Book I (2012)
(3 songs out of 10)

Were you as disappointed as I was by Dimmu Borgir's last album? Would you like to hear them the way they were at Death Cult Armageddon? You're in luck, because Italians Darkend sound almost exactly like that classic album, right down to the dual vocal styles. Actually, it's pretty good, but I'm just not that interested in this sound right now, so I decided to devote more of my time elsewhere. I suspect the people who reviewed the album at Metal Archives are plants (lots of 100% ratings by people who haven't written any other reviews), but I guess that's how you market these days. Maybe be a little more subtle next time?

Buy Grand Guignol - Book I

Flagellated Seraph: Beyond Salvation (2012)
(4 songs out of 6)

Mixing and matching vocal styles doesn't necessarily make something all that much more interesting. Flagellated Seraph take mid-paced, fairly decent black metal (with at least a couple good riffs) and put a Swe-death style growl over it. It's not reinventing the wheel, but more like putting wheels from a Pontiac on a Chevy. Not bad, though.

Hellthrasher Productions

Enemy Reign: Between Hell and Oblivion (2012)
(5 songs out of 11)

Between Hell and Oblivion is probably the best album on this list. But it's an example of an album that you can't really say much about. Pure, modern death metal, clearly a descendant of Morbid Angel (circa Gateways) and Behemoth, with modern production as you might expect. As this kind of music goes, it's above average, but without anything different it's a tough sell.

Enemy Reign


  1. Objection. Summary judgment motions are anything but brief.

    (But I'm ok with the format otherwise)

  2. Are you questioning my shtick? :)

    I don't think there's anything in law that's actually brief, except routine motions in a criminal trial. "Motions for discovery" doesn't have the same ring, although you gotta love Brady v. Maryland.

  3. law and motion practice in criminal court I've known to be brief, but civil stuff is more my thang. Motions in limines can be brief. As can objections. And oral argument when you've won the tentative