Friday, 6 January 2012

Penthos - Affliction

Self Released 2011

1.Affliction (instrumental) 2.Grief 3.Descendance 4.Disillusioned
5.Dictators of Aggression

Unusually the opening track ‘Affliction’ is an instrumental and is an extremely melodic piece of music, soft guitar leads accompanied by some ‘soft’ and slightly intricate drumming. To be perfectly honest it’s something and nothing. Not really grabbing the attention or giving anything to surprise us. ‘Grief’ opens up clumsily, the guitars and drumming never really gelling and sounding somewhat dis-jointed. The riffing is old school in nature but extremely generic, never grabbing your attention or making you sit up and take note. The pace remains slow to mid-paced, taking on a ‘galloping’ feel but again remaining very generic and beginning to sound chaotic, sloppy and not too tight. It almost sounds like these guys have only had a few weeks to gel as a unit before entering the studio. You can see the band trying to incorporate some new elements, the guitars beginning to show some progressive elements but nothing that will ever ‘break the mould’. The drumming is probably the most creative element to the band, but is somewhat limited in what can be achieved over such generic riffing without ‘stealing the show’. ‘Descendance’ follows a similar structure, the chaotic sound continued. The band do inject some pace into this song, adding short sharp bursts of blast beats which is a welcome break in pace but these are usually followed by a drop in pace and a return to the standard riffing seen previously. No pause between tracks as ‘Disillusioned’ opens up, a slightly more considered approach, but this track sounds exactly the same as the previous track, there’s no definition between the two. I didn’t actually realise the track had changed until I checked what number song was playing. Consistent maybe, but when everything begins to sound the same and blend into one big track it’s not good.
‘Dictators Of Aggression’ closes this five track e.p. The chaos seen in the previous tracks seems to have been lost and the band start to actually sound like a band. Much of the riffing sounding very old school Swedish Death metal, especially with the guitar sound the band has opted for. There is a definite thrash element to the band’s sound, but a very simplified thrash sound which isn’t all bad; it just lacks that killer punch. It’s probably fair to say the enthusiasm is there for the music, it’s the execution which lets the band down. They need to be a lot tighter and get back into the rehearsal room and write something with more originality because there are a lot of bands that are in the same ‘market place’ sounding a lot sharper and with more appeal. More hard work and some new members (the band are currently recruiting new guitarist and bass player) and we’ll see what a stable line up and new recording will bring, but for now there’s nothing really here that grabs the attention.
4.5 out of 10

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