QUICKIE REVIEW OF AN UNSIGNED BAND: INTO THE STORM
Into the Storm, an experimental band from Seattle, are undoubtedly skilled. Most of the riffs are excellent, and Matt Jahn’s leads on songs like “Excalibur III” are pretty inspiring. James Reeves’s drumming, while mixed badly, is clearly solid, and Brant Kay’s bass playing provides some much-needed backing power, seeing as the band only has one guitarist.
Unfortunately, the band has two serious problems:
- Vocalist Oliver Reeves. His pipes aren’t very powerful; most of the time he just yells in a fairly generic over-the-top manner, and he doesn’t seem to possess a sense of time or rhythm. He is the weakest link in this band.
- They have a lot of good ideas but can’t articulate them very well.
Allow me to explain further…
While Into the Storm mostly play some more of that Baroness/Mastodon stoner rock, there are also various elements that make me think of deathcore and even mathcore (listen to twenty seconds into the outrageously titled “Sometimes Maybe, I Like to Go to the Park and Look at Swaans”). There are a lot of weird, instrumental breaks, but there is also an abundance of chugging riffs and a TON of gang shouts. This combination of elements from different popular metal genres never quite meshes; the transitions are just too rough. The “we recorded this in our basement”-style production and mixing doesn’t help, either.
Bottom line: Into the Storm’s new demo, Amidst a Sea of Chaos, is worth a listen. But it’s not going to break any serious ground. Watch for these guys in the future though; they have a lot of potential… if they get a new vocalist and tighten up their songwriting.