Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cyclone Temple - Words Are Just Words Promo Tape

Circa 2008

Free cassettes are great. I usually expect that they will suck however something stuck out in my mind when I came upon this promo in my local record store. If I recall, it was the inherent awesomeness that seems to follow Greg Fulton everywhere he goes? Maybe it's his ability to craft compelling arrangements that capture the energy that he maintains in a live setting, on record. Don't get me wrong, Znowhite was a great band but after hearing the tracks available on this, sadly, short demo/promo Greg has pushed forward into uncharted territories. His perfectly placed triplets would make Jon Schaffer weep. Now, now. I am aware that I am missing a vital part of the puzzle here. The frame of the puzzle so to speak. You can't separate Fulton from the his side-kicks Schafer (Bass) and Slattery (Drum batter). While Fulton lays a great crunch, Schafer and Slattery provide a stunning example of their capability to create twisted thrashing impulses in the structure of songs on second track "Why." While this musical backbone pounces all over the tape, Brian Troch gives a great vocal performance - pulling the words, seemingly, out of the depths of his heart. It is a very natural performance with no over-blown vocal choirs or added effects. Just a clean yet rugged, due to Troch's natural vocal grit, showing of the well thought lyrics.

For a release in 1991, the guitars have less of an edge as I would wish. This is the year of releases such as Human and Effigy (not that there is a relation in terms of genre however this promo was released by the same label that released the Death promo of Human) and I would have expected a slightly heavier tone. The tone on this demo is more in line with some five years past.. possibly Heathen's Breaking the Silence though with more treble and a more "punchy" bass. I think you catch my drift however. Tonally, one could possibly consider it outdated. Although I do enjoy the tone, I would thrash just slightly more if there was that extra level of heaviness. Troch, although performing admirably just seems to strain on going to the higher notes. Straining to reach the level of emotion vocally that the lyrics express.

For a two song demo, this is a mighty showing of the powerful writing trio of Fulton, Schafer and Slattery. With a competent vocalist and memorable melodies, these songs can really strike a chord (no pun intended). "Why" is a potent thrasher while "Words are Just Words" makes me headbang every time I have played this demo since I have gotten it - already too many times to count.

3 comments:

Alternative and underground music said...

Free cassette tapes. Or just cassette tapes in general as a format. Who doesn't love 'em? Terrorizer mag recently gave one away on the cover for Electric Wizard. While it was a strangely fitting medium for the band, but the limited production run meant much of the readership may have missed out. There was almost riots in the street I heard. But still. I hope more bands do this. I feel they're no less valid than seven-inch pressings.

Anonymous said...

am I missing the download links?

I see reviews for things that look interesting.

Orion M. said...

Anon, I don't post download links... Just reviews. I'm sure you can easily find download links to most of the material I've reviewed as a lot of the reviews are for demo bands that offer their releases for download on bandcamp or their websites.

Thanks for reading guys.