Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Aberration - 1994 Promo

When mediocre is truly mediocre you can just feel the indifferent monotony rolling out of your speakers like the passing of a Honda accord in a Wal-mart parking lot. While we all scour the depths of the past and present for that ever so elusive glorious forgotten relic, or lost demo or whatever it is that pressures us to continue our endless search, more often than not we are met with acceptable attempts more often than not. Aberration's 1994 Promo is not one of those. It also isn't a 1968 Pontiac GTO on the open highway. This five track demo is the epitome of a demo that flew under the radar for good reason - sheer blandness.

It's got a mediocre production, with a thumpy bass, rehearsal room tone drums, stock guitars and a vocalist that is there because the band needed to fill the void. I don't know what it is about tracks like "Something Wrong," or "Barbarian Summoning" that just strike me with the impact of a newly purchase pillow, but there is barely enough energy in this demo to warrant the reels spinning in the tape enclosure. It took more effort for a machine to manufacture the tape this demo was printed on then Aberration put into recording the demo. I can imagine the band in the studio, half asleep, possibly slowing down the tempo to the songs so that they wouldn't have to work as hard to play the parts. A song like "Sweet Suffering," aside from requiring a more interesting and less wimpy song title, would gain excitement ten-fold from a slight tempo adjustment of only a few beats per minute.

To the nitty gritty: the songs and such. The tape is in the style of generic US Death metal... the kind every town had in 1994 including the Polish hamlet this crew truly put on the map with their blistering product. The Introductory track trembles along... modestly... trying to be witty with tremelo riffs mixed in with standard eighth note chugging but instead, the song sounds like an embellished series of toss-away riffs. While nothing is particularly offensive, there is little to care about either. I'm not sure who exactly is singing on this demo... there is NO information on the thing. Whoever it is, they lay out a couple of decent Barney Greenway wails at points but majority of grunts - more like grumbles - are not worth the price of the tape. The guitar playing and bass playing is... nothing special. The drums are nothing special, lacking any real charm. The drummer tends to just follow the syncopation in the riffs, adding little rhythmic depth to the songs. At times the toms are buzzy and way too hot.

The lack of proper credits and information includes the lack of a cool demo cover with black and white sketched artwork of zombie penguins eating the goo-spewing-pustule-covered neighborhood children. I don't quite understand why there is a total LACK of effort in this regard. Surely they could have had someone attempt the album cover... anything would be better than the cover of that Mindland disc... I'm afraid to go by the listed lineup on websites because, with a lack of information on the demo itself... who knows where the information on the album came from on these sites. Overall, this is a total pass for anyone really. Unless you really have to own every death metal demo from the Polish town of Plock this is sure-fire demo no one really needs to hear. This review was way more effort than the thing deserves. Hopefully it saves some nomadic Metalhead time tracking this down in the end.

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