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I've owned this record for a while, and seenthe band live too. I can't say that this is nice sounding piece of work. It's really grim. Lots of noises and strange rythms. It sounds like a nightmare. A proper horrible one. And it just keeps rumbling on. It isn;t something you'd put on to relax to, and it's certainly not bacjground music. Throbbing Gristle comparisons are obvious, but knowing the direct connection to another horrible sounding band (Khanate - look them up if you don't know who this band are), it becomes easier to digest what's going on and feels like a natural, if dramatic, progression from the emptier sounds of the aformentioned band.
As with all noise acts, it can become tiring to plough through it. So many other acts are willing to rest on their laurels and drag a song out for twenty minuets or more, and you could be forgiven for rolling your eyes at this prospect once the sounds from 'This Face' start to ooze out of your speakers.
Everything steps up a gear at the half way mark with Backyard Frontier. As furious and pummeling a piece of sustained evil as you'll ever hear. The track makes a welcome return at the end of the record too. The rest of the album create a dimension where this track can be controlled. It becomes obious now, just how well produced the record is. So many swirling noises, it would be easy to dismiss it as such, but there is a real clarity unlike many other records of it's ilk that I've listened to.
Then, almost suddenly, it ends. Silence. I feel horrible.
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I read a fair few reviews of `This Face' before I bought it, yet after the first couple of listens, I realised that every review I've read failed at actually giving you the information you essentially want from a record review - "is it any good?". I'll cut to the chase - No. It's not good. In fact, it's pretty terrible.
The main selling point and appeal of Gnaw is the vocalist is one Alan Dubin, who's pedigree in extreme music is impressive - handling vocals for O.L.D. in the early Nineties and up until their split in 2007, for Khanate. O.L.D. and Khanate were both creative, broundbreaking extreme metal bands and for me, Khanate are almost unsurpassable in the doom metal genre. The reason they're so well regarded is the tension and unpredictability in their sound - the creative use of dead space and crystal clear production opened everything out to you so no nerve ending was left unscathed. Dubin's vocals were centre stage and every word he scraped from his larynx was utterly terrifying on first listen. In fact, I really should be reviewing Gnaw as it's own beast but it's impossible to stay away from Khanate comparisons because of those unique vocals.
Therefore, hearing those vocals in a new setting after the demise of Khanate is an exciting prospect. It was exiting at first but then the music sinks in then the lyrics sink in and frankly, both elements are pretty bad. There's been a massive amount of hyperbole surrounding 'This Face', reviewers describing how the lines of high art and music have been blurred. I'm sorry but that's just stupid.Read more ›
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