Unsigned and Unholy

UNSIGNED AND UNHOLY: MEDIOCRITY IS A SICKNESS

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I’ve been reviewing pretty much any and every band that’s sent me entries for Unsigned and Unholy over the past week or so, and the conclusion I’ve come to is this: very few bands are terrible, and very few bands are good. Most of them are mediocre bands that have decent chops and decent production value but not much in the way of originality. I’m kinda tired of saying the same thing over and over again with regards to mediocrity, so I think from now on — after this post — I’m gonna go back to the way it originally was, writing about bands that are either really good or really bad. If you send us an email about your band and you aren’t featured here, just assume you’re mediocre! Easy.

Today’s batch of bands:

  • Freaklabel: These guys aren’t bad, but if you’ve ever been to a metal show at a rock bar in a small midwestern town you’ve seen this band before. They dub themselves “Working Class Metal”… use the imagination to figure out what that means.
  • Aaron Charles: Band member and email-sender Dustin Ford dared us to be brutally honest about this band, so here goes: they do a fine job impersonating The Black Dahlia Murder. Done.
  • Blood Drunk: I’m now all the way through the 7th song on their Bandcamp page (linked in their name) and I honestly have nothing to say about this band other than that they don’t sound anything like the Children of Bodom album after which they’re named. That can’t bode well.
  • Paris is Burning: More generic tech-death that’s indistinguishable from any other band, especially The Faceless, who these guys seem to really like.
  • Holy Hell Rod: No fewer than three members of this Houston band are sporting backwards baseball caps in the individual photos on their MySpace page. That, and that they seem to like Pantera a lot (check those Vinnie Paul-style double-bass flims) are about all you really need to know. I’ll bet these guys are a lot of fun if you’re completely trashed at a backwoods Texas bar, though. Some of those not-Pantera riffs are pretty sweet.
  • Hunted: Cardiff U.K.’s Hunted — who can’t possibly be the first ever metal band to be called Hunted — have definitely got something different going on. Unfortunately it’s too different, as in it’s all over the place; thrash beats, metalcore riffs, slowdowns and shaky power metal vocals all slam together with little rhyme or reason. This is really tough music to swallow, but maybe it’s just too forward-thinking for my peon brain in the year 2010.
  • A Bloodbath in Boston: Tech-deathcore, well played (and with great production) but unspectacular. Too many chug/breakdown parts. It says something about the ubiquitousness of this genre of metal that the recordings on their MySpace page, which sound totally pro, were made when the band members were all of 16 and 17 years old. Hopefully these guys can find their own voice as they mature.
  • Elysian Fields: The Elysian Fields in Hoboken, NJ, legend has it, are the location of the very first organized game of baseball; if only the band of the same name hailing from the opposite side of Manhattan had the mother’s milk for metal their name would seem to suggest. Nick from the band wrote us a very nice email explaining what makes his band different, but I’m afraid for the most part it’s more of the same, in this case gallop-y Swedecore via American metalcore; competently executed, sure, but I’m not hearing anything that knocks my socks off.

Alright mediocrity, it’s been nice knowing you. See you later.

-VN

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