9
May

Review: Basick Records sampler

Djent happens to be the ‘in’ thing right now (and I’m also getting déjà vu, because I’ve said this countless times before), and it seems that Basick Records are flying the flag for this movement, being home to a large array of Technical Metal and djent inspired artists. The label are currently offering a free sample album, which you can download for free here, so I figured I’d check it out and offer my thoughts on the download.

The sample contains 10 songs, by 10 different bands. I’ve heard of about 5 of them before, but the other half are all new to me. The download comes in a default format of MP3 at 320 kbps, so you’re getting fairly decent quality here. Make the jump for the review.

1. Monuments – Admit Defeat (2010 Demo) – 4:08
2. Circles – Clouds Are Gathering – 5:33
3. Ion Dissonance – We Like To Call This One… Fuck Off – 4:46
4. The Arusha Accord – The Resurgent – 3:26
5. Chimp Spanner – Bad Code – 5:05
6. Aliases – We Never Should Have Met (2010 Demo) – 4:44
7. No Consequence – Latitudes – 4:38
8. Visions – Attentive: Continuum (2010 Demo) – 5:18
9. No Made Sense – The Epillanic Choragi – 10:52
10. A Dark Orbit – The Waters – 4:47

1. Monments – Admit Defeat (2010 demo)

Monuments are one of the bands I’ve heard of before, but I’ve never really checked them out properly until now. The beginning of the track reminds me somewhat of TesseracT, who I recently reviewed for those with poor memories. It starts with a nice melodic introduction, before heading into a heavy, typical Tech-Metal djent heavy section. The vocals in this part are intentionally chaotic, although they’re initially a bit busy and low in the mix for my tastes, it does grow on me. The clean vocals are gradually introduced into the track, with the rhythm kept tight throughout. Overall, I’d say this track reminds me of a mixture of TesseracT, Architects and SiKth, and it’s pretty damn good: A strong start to the free sample collection indeed.

2. Circles – Gathering

Circles? I’ve never heard of them (feel free to mock my ignorance in the comments section if you so wish). The track begins with a strong clean guitar introduction. Instrumentally, the band is as heavy as previous band, Monuments, but vocally, more emphasis is placed on singing, rather than screams. It’s a different, more melodic direction that already brings some diversity to this free sample. Bridge sections, with piano, synths and the occasional electro drums also make an appearance, which string the track together well. This proves to be another strong track, but it doesn’t quite grab me as much as Monuments’ ‘Admit Defeat’, and the chorus gets a bit repetitive in my opinion.

 

3. Ion Dissonance – We Like To Call This One… Fuck Off

This is one of the bands I have heard of before, and not only that, I’m actually quite the fan. So you know how this one is going to go… Ion Dissonance are pretty fucking awesome. They’re a Mathcore Tech-Metal act from Canada with a heavy groove emphasis. We Like To Call This One… Fuck Off’ (nice title, by the way) comes from 2010’s Cursed and is a brilliant epileptic schizophrenic slab of Math Metal, with a discordant amalgamation of awesome riffs and pounding drums. Blastbeats and Grindcore-esque rhythms also make an appearance, and overall this song is one of the best on the sampler. Cracking shtuff.

 

 

4. The Arusha Accord – The Resurgent

‘The Resurgent’ begins with it actually sounding a little ordinary and too generic for me, but it soon grows on me. The Arusha Accord sound a lot like Chronographs (or perhaps Chronographs sound like them), which isn’t a bad thing by any means. The track follows a melodic sort of pattern, with some restraint shown in the Tech-Metal chaotic formula.’ Towards the end the track builds up to a climatic melodic finale and clean sung vocals are introduced into the song, with screams appearing in the background. The melody is fairly catchy and the singing is strong.

 

 

5. Chimp Spanner – Bad Code

Chimp Spanner begin this song with a weird discordant cheap electronic kind of sound, which is arpeggiated. I’m not entirely down with it, but it only serves as the intro, with the guitars and drums kicking in afterwards. The introduction arpeggios actually turns out to be a motif used late by the guitars, and overall it works pretty well. Instrumentally this track grows on me and by about half way through I really it. It’s by that point I also work out that this track is just an instrumental and there aren’t any vocals, and this is by no means a bad thing. A little research also leads me to find out that Chimp Spanner is actually the alias used by multi-instrumental soloist Paul Antonio Ortiz (pictured left).

6. Aliases – We Never Should Have Met (2010 Demo)

Aliases are one of the bands I’ve been keeping my eye on, and in fact I’ve posted about them here before. They feature ex SiKth member, Pin, and coincidently they also sound quite a bit like his former band. I’ve got to be honest though, this song sounds pretty shitty, and I’m not talking about the songwriting quality, I mean the production and mixing. I know it states this is a demo, but it’s so much quieter and rough than the previous tracks. I wish they could have reworked it a bit or put a newer, more polished track on this sample disc. The song overall is ok, but it doesn’t ‘wow’ me as much as some of the other tracks. I must admit, however, part of that may be the fact I’ve been heard this track quite a few times already, and that the production is weak. I’m sure the best from Aliases, however, is still yet to come and the final mixes will sound far better.

 

7. No Consequence – Latitudes

I have to say I really enjoy the beginning to this track. It really reminds me of some of the early Metalcore bands from the early/mid 2000s, back before the genre became too saturated and boring. When the track properly kicks in though, I’m not too overly fond of the screams. The clean vocals, however, aren’t too bad. Musically I’d say ‘Latitudes’ closely resembles the Metalcore genre, but despite this, No Consequence do keep things sounding fresh. The guitar parts from about 1:38 onwards reminds me a lot of Between the Buried and Me (always a good thing), then there’s a generic beatdown at about 2:35 in, and the track alters once more after that. The band certainly manages to keep things interesting, but it doesn’t all flow quite as well as it could. That said, criticisms aside, the song is good and with a bit of refinement it could be even better. Also, it’s worth noting that the twin guitar harmonies kick ass.

 

8. Visions – Attentive: Continuum (2010 Demo)

Visions begin this song with a beautiful melodic guitar part, before breaking into frenzied screams and continue the melodic playing with distortion and pulsating drums. The band play a heavy form of Tech-Metal, like most of the other bands on the label, and continue a barrage of brutality though the track until the end. However, whilst they’re pretty good, and I don’t want to be a bit of a dick, but a lot of these bands are starting to sound very similar now I’m reaching the end of this sampler… Regardless, Basick have provided a strong array of artists for this sampler, there’s no denying that.

 

 

9. No Made Sense – The Epillanic Choragi

I spoke too soon right? No Made Sense sound nothing like anything else I’ve heard so far on this sample disc; in fact they don’t really sound a whole lot like anything I’ve heard before. The song is 10 minutes long, so it better be good. Yeah, this is a Prog Metal track (yay), it begins with a typical Hardcore sounding riff, before bringing everything down. Then there’s a Nu-Metal sounding riff (wait… what?). The song is bizarre with a whole array of interesting changes and alterations throughout, with a number of appealing electronic sounds. It all gets a lot better too when the vocals kick in. The screams are heavy and instrumentally, everything is pushed up a notch. Overall, the song is great, but I don’t feel it quite justifies its near 11 minute length. It, in my opinion, should have been cut down a bit. I have nothing against long tracks, Dream Theater and Opeth are two of my favourite bands, but in this case, it just wasn’t strong and diverse enough to hold my interest.

 

10. A Dark Orbit – The Waters

‘The Waters’ is another song where the production isn’t quite up to scratch. Regardless, it’s quite a good song, although there are some parts I’m not too fond off (example point, the noise between 0:42 – 0:58). Regardless, the riffs are decent, the melody is strong and the screams work well with the overall feel of the song. A good song nonetheless, but not the best on display on Basick Records’ sample disc. A Dark Orbit are worth checking out regardless though.

 

 

Verdict:

Basick Records provide a solid free sample, which displays the strengths of the bands in their arsenal. There isn’t a single bad track on this sample, however some songs are better than others. In addition, whilst some bands clearly stand out from the others, there are many that are just a little too similar for my tastes. Despite some mild criticisms, all the bands here are worth checking out, and I’ll certainly be keeping my eye on them all. You can do the same by checking out the links below. Also, don’t forget this sampler is FREE!


Basick Records
Basick Records on Facebook
Monuments
Circles
Ion Dissonance
The Arusha Accord
Chimp Spanner
Aliases
No Consequence
Visions
No Made Sense
A Dark Orbit


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