Egypt Central Once Nothing - First came the Law

Slowly but surely we’re whittling down the ceiling-high pile of CDs at the MetalSucks Mansion sent to us for review. Today we take a look at alt-metal band Egypt Central’s self-titled debut and Christian metalcore outfit Once Nothing’s First Came the Law. Our thoughts after the jump.

Egypt CentralEgypt CentralEgypt Central
Middle of the road, made-for-radio hard rock / alt-metal following a path well-paved in recent years by the likes of Breaking Benjamin, Chevelle, Seether, Evans Blue, etc. With the huge success of some of those bands I guess it’s no wonder record labels are still signing acts like this, but in 2008 it seems like the sun is setting on this genre. The band doesn’t bring anything new to the table that any of the aforementioned bands haven’t already done, and they seem stuck in a rock format that peaked at the early part of this century; then again, I always need to be reminded that this type of rock is still huge in the Midwest and likely makes folks at record labels lots of money. And that’s what Egypt Central is, by design built for “Active Rock” radio hits to bring the big bucks home. Every song follows the intro-verse-chorus-etc formula with the tried and true loud/soft/loud dynamic, and 9 out of the 11 tracks conveniently clock in between 2:55 and 3:38. Big, slick production and clean mixing bring wall-of-sound Rectified guitars to the forefront and leave John T. Fall’s auto-tuned vocals buried just behind them (usually sung cleanly with screams thrown in at the appropriate dramatic moments). That having been said, since Egypt Central is clearly a songs-driven band let’s comment on the songs; they’re not bad. Every song has memorable guitar-driven melodies that could conceivably be a radio hit. Unfortunately none of them have the kind of sticking power the way, for instance Breaking Benjamin’s “So Cold” did, leaving Egypt Central SOL.

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(two out of five horns)


[Egypt Central on MySpace]

Once Nothing - First came the LawOnce NothingFirst Came the Law
I’m trying not to be a hater, trying not jump on the metalcore-bashing bandwagon, because metalcore — when done well — has plenty of redeeming qualities. But at this point well into the second wave of metalcore bands there are literally SO many of them and very few distinguishing qualities between them that it’s getting increasingly difficult to be a metalcore apologist. And so in trying to find some unique characteristic of Once Nothing — who dub themselves “blue-collar metal” — I guess you could say there’s some southern influence here. Down-style guitar harmonies and southern grooves pop up here and there, but otherwise there isn’t much to distinguish Once Nothing from the hordes on Solid State and there isn’t much to distinguish one song from the next. First Came The Law runs by in a blur of tuff-stuff chugga-chugga, growling, double-bass thumping and Swedecore guitars (chances of these dudes actually being influenced directly by said Swedes? nil.) Where this type of music might redeem itself in the way of well-constructed, catchy songs, Once Nothing again falls short with little in the way of memorable hooks or choruses of any kind, opting instead for breakdown after breakdown after breakdown. Call me a hater if you want, but I just don’t see any magic here.

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(one and a half out of five stars)


[Once Nothing on MySpace]

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