Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ad Patres - Scorn Aesthetics

When I was in Tilburg to play Mario's Metal Meeting I remember hearing from other bands and people at the show that individuals in the Netherlands were very critical of musical technicality. At the time, I remember that making total sense because thinking of bands like Iniquity and Sinister I figured that interest in technical prowess would translate to other metal genres as well - in my case Traditional Metal. Let me just say that France's Ad Patres would go over quite well in that country judging on their expert musicianship which is by far the band's best attribute on their debut release Scorn Aesthetics. They are but one of many Death Metal bands of the style in the nation of late and Death Metal seems to be a huge trend in France while in many other countries it seems the genre has been dropping in popularity. Maybe my observation is wrong but Ad Patres is just another one of these Death Metal projects from France which will get little attention outside of the country.

The artwork on the album is a blur of reds and blacks and is geared to appeal to no one except those that would want another album in the collection with a disjointed cover featuring a skull, conjoined bodies, a hung human peering out of a window and some lovely smelling incense to hopefully mask what must be a god-awful odor in that tiny five inch square room that is the album cover. The rest of the album's inner sleeves follow in kind except for the band photo which is in black and white. The quintet could either be Ad Patres or a photoshopped picture of a college biology class during a black out. The rest of the booklet has the lyrics which I have no interest in reading because the vocals on the album are about as dull as death metal vocals can get and I would have no desire to scream them out with vocalist Axel Doussaud. Either way, a quick glance at songs like "The Lock" reveal lyrics that probably weren't worth being printed; "I will dig your fucking grave, I will kill you with my own hands." Blah Blah... it's the same crap that the Jamaican dude I work with comes up with to stereotypically mock Heavy Metal as a whole.

Musically, the album contains two halves split by the dying patience of myself. While the album starts strong with "The Lock", "Scars of Compromise" and "To The Fathers," afterwards the album teeters off. It's not that the songs are any different - they're not - but all the band's creativity is available on display early on and the backside of the album leaves little surprises and engagement. The whole album sounds like a combination of Krisiun with some slowed spots - the more interesting moments - taking cues from Decapitated's Organic Hallucinosis. Leads appear on several tracks and rekindle memories of listening to Necrophagist though here, the leads are much more interesting since they aren't fighting tooth and nail within a song that was essentially just one long guitar fracas to begin with. Best track for me though is "Scars of Compromise," which contains a refreshing interlude about halfway into the song that cuts the blasting and blabbering genericism down a notch with some drawn out atonality and mixed drum beats. The problem with a lot of the tracks here though is that they don't actually seem to go anywhere and come off as a collection of cool - and not so cool - tremolo riffs with mundane blast beats beneath. At this stage in the game it just doesn't interest me that much but I'd tell everyone who just can't get enough death metal that they wouldn't have to work hard to head bang to Scorn Aesthetics.

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