Sound: A Natural Death is a new album by five Californian angry metalists, raised in the tough, gritty landscapes of Lake Forest (as per their short biography). They call themselves street-smart emo-rockers. Not sure what that means, but I don't have any other choice than to agree as the music is something indefinable. There is a little bit of metal, a bit of screamo, some rock guitar solos and a few core vocals. Comparing to the band's previous records their instrumental skills have improved, but I can't say the music became better because of the fact. It seems like they've traded powerful and memorable riffs for virtuosity. Though Chris Prophet on drums is quite fast and interesting with double bass and obvious punk influences in some tracks.
Among the number of aggressive metal and rock tracks there are some good exceptions that make an impression of the album. Sex Raptor is anything but the song you'd expect on this record -- Depech Mode-like keyboards, Erasure danceable rhythms, computer effects in the '80s style. Red Tornado is also an interesting track -- instrumental, with only one guitar and drums through half of the song with a vivid culmination at the end. Face of Bear is a metal-core and probably the strongest track on the album. Kangarooster Meadows is mixing happy pop fill-ins with electronic ermmm... metal? A cool idea for a computer game soundtrack. The album could be good for those of you, who are tired of the standards and want something crazy and sick. // 8
Lyrics: As well as music, the lyrics are anything the guys' sick fantasy can create -- animals, death, cruelness. But they have a deep philosophy hidden in the silly and scary poetry. The songs are about arrogance of creation and destruction, the brutality of nature, the horror of birth and the beauty of death. The band hopes the album will stop the human race to take itself so seriously and they try to convince people with the idea You are nothing. Deep, interesting, but stale. Nathan's vocals are diverse, but not too exciting. He tries a bit of everything -- metalcore, screamo, even Mark Almond (in Sex Raptor) with a mediocre success in every track. // 7
Overall Impression: All through the CD you can't get rid of the feeling the guys are playing anything that comes to their minds and often even without taking notice of each other. Not only they've got unpredictable rhythms, they also scream, break down and stop wherever they feel like it. Not to say they don't know what they're doing (what nevertheless is pretty much true), but the songs don't have a common idea. There is so much of everything without any thread to link it together that you can barely remember a thing from an album (except those weird tracks that were probably put in for that reason). Sometimes it seems that band is lost in the variability of sounds and effects. As a result it is easy for a listener to get lost as well in 16 tracks. // 7
- Kosh (c) 2007