July 24, 2008

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Fate, Vultures
Metal Blade Records, April 29

The primordial death-metal ooze from which sprang everything from your Dimebags to your math-metal geeks is ó how many times have I said this? ó in a flux of apostasy, with the genre being reborn in a never-ending array of sub-sub-genres that all add up to the same thing: hardcore isnít dead, we swear. This record is an interesting crossover result of the ongoing Carcass-vs.-Meshuggah-vs-Red Scare steel cage razor-fight, more blunt than Black Dahlia Murder but less heavy than Dillinger Escape Plan. Come to think of it, that could describe every even-numbered thrash metal outfit doing business today, and there isnít one thing here that hasnít been done before, if with less enthusiasm for the most part. The songs are of Billboard-single length, though, even the Neurosis-lifted ones, which is certainly a positive, because, unless thereís deep classical training somewhere within a unit like this, itís best not to shoot for concerto-sized legend as the riffs can get old plenty fast. As this stands, Iíd personally like to hear more Meshuggah-style rubber-bands of doom and less prissy double-tracked guitar math, but for a nuevo-thrash TV dinner it isnít all bad. C+ ó Eric W. Saeger