Genre: Industrial, Metal, Goth
Release Date: October 4th, 2011
Recommended if you like: Collide, Bella Morte, Evanescence
It’s always tough to review a friends album. The line between being a friend and being a critic is always a very fine line. You want to make sure that everyone is happy in the end. Also, I must say in a moment of honesty, that I do have a vested interest in SutureSelf not only as friends with Brandon but also I’m working as A&R for the release of this record, so take that into account when you read this review. It will be honest, but obviously I have an angle as well, don’t you wish politicians where this honest?
So here ya go. SutureSelf, upon the first listen I was swept away by the atmospherics of the first track and the samples. They seemed eerily poignant in this day and age of war and turmoil. The main songwriter in SutureSelf Brandon Chase, himself is a veteran of our military and knows what it’s like to serve our country, adds a deeper level to the samples here. The music finally kicks in. What strikes me most on the listening of this record is the mixture of acoustic drums with the programmed drums. At times it feels like they are at war with each other one trying to over power the other and a couple of times I actually thought I didn’t like what was happening but then they seemed to come together and mesh perfectly and create a thin red line between the two adding depth and a human element to a genre often times over run by sequencers and electronic drums.
I’m also really down with the vocals Ronay’s female voice completes the project nicely. Balancing between the stabbing guitars and oscillating synthesizers. Her vocals are mixed pretty far up front, and while that’s something I personally wouldn’t have done, I think it works for this album. I’m also glad the Ronay decides to sing on this album and not try to be a screamer. She let’s the music speak for itself and only compliments the melody, ton and timbre of the music as a hole. My biggest complaint with the vocals is that at times they come across one dimensional and I would have liked to hear Ronay brand out a bit and push herself into different registers and try something new. She’s got a wonderful voice and I’m glad they didn’t bury it under piles of distortion and reverb though.
As far as the bass and guitar go both seemed appropriately fitting for this genre. The bass was never too over powering, in fact I believe it could have been mixed a little higher up in the mix. The guitar work here is actually a bit more intricate than a lot of bands in this genre. Single notes are heard and palm muted power chords are not the predominate guitar playing of choice. I was surprise actually by the guitar work and I think when all is said and done it might be the most surprising part of the entire release. The great thing about the guitar is that it’s EQ’d out to hit perfectly in it’s own world, but that also separates it from the music a bit more than I’d like. I think a little extra bass on the EQ nob on the amp might have helped the guitar find a little more delicate place in the mix, but that is getting really really nit picky and you can tell I spend way too much time thinking about the nuts and bolts of the actual recording process.
All in all Evolve is a very interesting record from SutureSelf, it surprised me in a lot of ways. It’s far less Metal than I expected and far more Goth than I expected. This is not a heavy record persay but a record you can put on and sit back with a nice glass of red wine and enjoy from beginning to end. I look forward to hearing more from SutureSelf in the future. And I hope you will too!
Posted under Album Review, Music