What is the point of an album review? For me personally, I want to know if I am going to like the album being reviewed, if I shell out my hard earned filthy lucre and buy it, but obviously the reviewer doesn’t know me, so how should this feat be achieved? And there’s the rub, it’s not an easy thing to accomplish.
Some reviewers compare the album being reviewed to other releases in the band’s back catalog, but unless you’re intimate with the band’s work, this approach is useless (and what if it’s a debut album ?). Plus, bands evolve, the fact that this new record does/doesn’t sound like one they released 10 years ago is no indication that I will, or won’t, like it in the here and now.
Take Five Serpent’s Teeth by Evile. Apparently it’s their third album, but it’s the first music I’ve heard by this band. I’ve read elsewhere that Evile play thrash, but if they do, they don’t play it on this album — it’s very mid-paced metal, overall, with just a hint of Flavor-of-Thrash thrown in for good measure. Maybe this is Nu-Thrash? The production is nice and the lead work is excellent, but a tad too sparse for these ears.
If I play this album enough, I may grow to like it more (I’ve only listend to it for about for times), but if I don’t, it’s the singer’s fault. If you’re going to sing, then you have to be able to do it properly. Unfortunately Matt Drake can’t, and to my ears, it really lets the music down. In my mind’s ear, I have tried to imagine someone like Barney Greenway providing the vocals instead, and it sounds much better!
If this was a proper review, I’d give it three skulls.
Read Guido’s full review of the album here.