Sound — 6
After a relatively inactive 3 year gap since their self-titled album and revamped progressive metal sound, Sadist put forth a new effort that explores the darker side to the melodies of thier previous effort. Like the last album, the sound continues with the progressive death metal/fusion genre, but unlike the last, it revolves around different sound ideas and some more back to basics ideas. To put it bluntly, what seems to have happened is that Sadist have dropped about half of their Steve Vai-esque melodic nature and replaced it with some very wierd sounding melodies indeed. And the Vocalist has upped his game for some deeper growls/screams. Unlike the last album, this one hasd a bigger focus on being heavy and more death-orientated. Although not as fast or mind-numbing as a band like 'Origin', it still sounds as though they're trying to progress in such a direction that it ends up being a little to the left of what they do best. This can best be exampled by the opening track 'Aput'. Like the last album, its a 2 minute instrumental, but this time round its just some very Entombed-like keyboards playing a rather wierd melodic section. Track list: 01. Aput: as mentioned, its a 2 minute instrumental, although its nothing like the instrumentals performed in the last album. While its a precourser to the types of melodies found in the album, it didn't quite 'wow' me like 'Jagriti' did in the self titled. 02. Broken And Reborn: when I first listened to this song, I instantly thought Meshuggahs 'Shed' without the wierd whisper vocals. While this forms a basis for the song, quite a lot of it is heavily black metal influenced as well. I found all this to be incredably wierd.. even the solo isnt anything like the ones from the previous album, so it leaves this song in a bit of a grey area.. 03. Season In Silence: a drum heavy song thats complimented by song good guitar work. Although its really the chorus that really sounds good, more use of a fretless bass and 'echo' type keyboards give the effect of a winter wonderland gone wrong. While no where near as beautiful as 'Tearing Away' from the last album, it still has a very nice piano section that continues with the almost wonderous sounding atmosphere. In the true style of Sadist though, its cut short with a heavy section and a very short and chaotically made solo. Its wierd as in, you'd expect Sadist to try and follow up with the self-titled sound.. but lets continue. 04. The Attic And The World Of Emotions: the song title alone is a pretty creepy image. The chords on their own are almost decrepid sounding. Although the solo takes away from the general 'anti-melody' of the song, it still doesn't stop it from sounding a bit much like SikThs 'Sanguine Seas of Bigotry' even with the huge jazz influences and keyboards. 05. Evil Birds: dumbing down from the name from the previous track, it is a really wierd mix that alternates between a very heavy attack of drums to some almost soaring sounding (yet generally unmelodic) keyboards. Even the guitar wahs and fretless bass swells don't really bring it to being anything other than a mess of riffs at times.. To be honest this album is trailing a little. 06. Ogron: the 'echo' keyboard notes return for this spaced out sounding track. The main riff is almost laughable to be honest because it sounds like a section from 'Ice Ice baby'. However, the opening solo is a full on speed assualt, which actually offers more melody than most of the previous songs from this album. As a rather short instrumental, it does little than make me a little turned off from it. 07. Night Owl: a return to midrange to high screaming for the vocalist, the song goes straight into a wierd set of chords that are actually pretty good and the guitar fills as well are a nice touch. Comparatively softer and nicer to listen to than the previous tracks, it still manages to incorparate the heaviest breakdown I've heard in a while (or break up, really, as it shifts from mellow to brain crushing), before going into a very smooth solo, very very smooth, much like a solo from the self titled. The soft chorus is played with the melodic chords and bass grooves. The soft section with the child-voice effect trails out softly for the end of the song. 08. Snowman: the general theme of Season in Silence is the ice world sort of template, so this song fits in. The guitar intro is oddly Necrophagist-y in its riff style (think Only Ash Remains), although it simplifies a little to something that Sadist play. Although melody is lacking again, theres a section that has Ihsahn written all over it. Two chords play, very melodic in their pattern, but are interrupted with two abruptly unrelated chords that ruin the feel a little. 09. Bloody Cold Winter: sounds like something my dad would say. Although thier previous album had heavy eastern asian influences, this album has virtually none up until this song, which still only has subtle hints. However, unlike previous songs, this contains the most full-on death metal influences, such as streams of double bass drumming and thrash rythms. 10. The Abyss: a piano intro belies the more erratic nature of the song. The guitar work is frantic and chaotic, bordering on the Avante Garde style of playing. While still keeping with the more death metal style of this album, still doesn't stop there from being proggy/soft breaks mid riff. It also doesn't stop them from putting in a soft ending either. Infact the ending reminded me of a dream theater song that I can't qute put my finger on.. but anyway. 11. Frozen Hands: the intro sounds like a David Firth Cartoon (Salad Fingers) but is just a reversed version of the clean guitar section which. The general feel of the song is almost jokey as it sounds a little 'James Bond' if you listen to it long enough. And yet again, a strange breakdown centers around some asian influenced drum parts and then into some softer guitar parts that have a Devildriver melody to them. The solo is decent, but the shifting bass key changes underneath might throw you off a bit. 12. Hiberna: finally, something pretty! As with the previous album, this last track is an instrumental. The fretless bass sounds a little out of place but gives it a smooth silky feel to the spanish-ish guitars. Its windy sound effects complete the 'devastated' feel of the album.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics are much the same as the ones from the self titled album: widely deep in meaning but the meaning is vague. Although this may be the case, the actual vocals have varied a little more. The vocalist fixes mostly on a more deeper sounding growl than the screams from the previous title yet both feature in equal measure. As stated in my last review, the vocalist only does the death metal orientated style because he really isnt a very good clean singer.. Still, some might see it as a good change, although the album has digressed from the almost perfect sound they attained in the self-titled.
Overall Impression — 5
Overall, I'm generally unimpressed with this album. Although Sadists style is untouched, this album has changed it so that it lacked the uplifting and generally pretty melodies and progressive nature to a wierd mess that I'm a little unhappy with.. I really was expecting more. Though a few songs have some genuinely brilliant moments in them, it just makes this album fall by the wayside, not as being boring but just disappointing. The only songs I will truly like and listen to over and over is the title track and Hiberna, seeing as they have the amazing style of the last album. Still, if you ARE into death metal with prog influences rather than prog metal with death metal influences, then check it out by all means, don't let my rather low evaulation discourage you!