Friday, July 19, 2013

Prepare for the Mindscan - Prepare For The Mindscan

A hardcore/grindcore band from Buffalo with a 13-minute demo, a suitable format for their bursts of energy. They hit hard early, tearing into an aggressive 40 second burst that the minute-long sample of diaglogue left me unprepared for. The lead vocals are a forceful yell reminiscent of Dwid Hellion of Integrity (a lofty compliment, for those unfamiliar with him), contrasted against some low growls that aren't nearly as strong. The guitars roar with a meaty crunch and some solid riffs, precise and percussive along with the drums. These guys are impressively tight for a grind group, especially with the transitions between grind and hardcore sections. It's tight, but not polished. They're well equipped with talents to play good hardcore/grind - but not very good at writing songs.

At their strongest, they're ripping through a tight and vicious 40 seconds like "Alien Invasion", but they start it off with a minute-long sample. The album sort of falls into a lull for a few songs before showing a good example of the push/pull contrasting that highlights grind with "Driven to Kill". The two songs that follow seem to switch between two parts, but they don't mesh well, they don't contrast, and it doesn't offer the same contrast that they manage twice - the second time on the closer, "Rise of the Machine Elves", which starts with another minute-long sample - another break that's really not helpful to dictating the flow of a short demo. The contrast of straight grinders, the shorter songs, and the more varied ones, which reach lengths of almost two minutes, could be stronger if they were positioned a bit better. The band gets energy going quite well, but they don't juxtapose it as well as they could. I'd prefer if they killed the samples to make this a flat ten minutes, emphasized a few section/tempo changes a bit more, and shifted the tracks around a bit with attention to the flow of the whole album.

The impression this demo gives me is that this is a band who would be interesting to see live, with a lot of energy and the chops to pull off their music, but they need to work on the big picture of putting their talents to use to create a more complete experience - if they're going to use samples, they need to use them to cut up their bursts of energy precisely. I think they could rearrange what they have here into something better than a sum of its parts of its parts - calculating chaos rather than sloppy arrangements - sample/grind/two-speed/grind/repeat rather than the weaker arrangements here. They sound good, they have skills, but they don't put it all together that well. This could be better than the sum of its parts.

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