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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Soft Metal

Well! Time once again for my weekly music review! I promise, by this weekend a fresh post with an update on the full ebook version of Through Darkness and Stars and the first part of my "Music and Writing" blog!

And now for this week's music review, as seen in CONFRONT Magazine!

*****

Mutiny Within: Mutiny Within

mwithinThe first few times I listened to this one, I couldn’t escape the feeling that something was off. I couldn’t put my finger on it, despite listening to it several times over the course of several days. A few things irked me; the frequent use of piano chords as intros, chief among them. But I was at a loss as to what struck me as not being quite cricket about ‘Mutiny Within’.

So I decided to break it down; the CD consisted of a plastic jewel case, enclosed paper booklet (high gloss, stapled) and the CD itself was made of several layers of optic-grade plastic sealing in a micro-thin layer of aluminum alloy, laser-etched and coated on one side with ink. Everything seemed pretty standard. Okay, moving on then the music stored on the CD, itself.

Thankfully I’d ripped the CD to my MP3 player before examining it; disassembling a compact disc is difficult, and usually results in the utter destruction of that disc. So, music files blasting in my ears I sat back to listen to this one, yet again.

With Metal it’s always the guitar and drums that I “hear” first. Mutiny Within’s no different in that regard. The drumming is complex, manic, an athletic feat as much as it is musical virtuosity. The guitar work is equally fervent, with elaborate, one-note-to-the-next changes; these guys make the impossible look easy. The bass rhythms are almost subsonic, and could easily kill a lesser sound system, and the keyboards add a fuller dimension to the music, pulling it out of the garage in which so much Metal seems to wallow, these days. Overall the music itself is powerful, loud, melodic and demands to be played as loud as your eardrums can bear.

At first, I wasn’t sure about the vocals, either. Though lead singer Chris Clancy can scream and growl and wail and roar with the best of them, he generally keeps to a Human vocal range. His singing therefore has to rely on a lot more than the ability to keep up a steady roar, requiring he actually hit notes, hold them, and stay on-key, which he does, masterfully.

Somewhere in the middle of my commute home to write this review, I was struck by epiphany: the thing about Mutiny Within that’s off is the fact that they’re actually putting an original spin on Metal! These last five years have seen Metal devolve back into the cookie-cutter hell that killed it in the mid 1990s before it made a resurgence. Now, just when all hope seemed gone, along comes this band with their own take on the Metal genre, ignoring the pre-set patterns to do their own thing; who the hell do they think they are?

If you can stand to listen to Metal that doesn’t sound like every other CD you’ve heard, you should pick up the self-titled debut by Mutiny Within. Hopefully we’ll hear a lot more from them soon.

Oh, I’m still deducting points for the piano…I hated that.

Mutiny Within: Mutiny Within
Roadrunner
Steve’s Rating: 8/10

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