Released: 2010, ATMF
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
11 As in Adversaries describe themselves as a “Metal / Rock / Psyche project that aims to offer an alternative to a swamp of occasionally (sic) limited artists.” I’m not sure what that means, and after spending some time with their debut, THE FULL INTREPID EXPERIENCE OF LIGHT, I wonder if they know what it means either. What was intended to sound like a mind altering progressively experimental hybrid unfortunately sounds like a disconnected mish mash of musical ideas that aren’t nearly as heady as the band would like to believe them to be.
Now I’m a big supporter of music that travels off the beaten path, but the difference between successful experimentation and self indulgent wankery comes down to one key concept – “focus.” The five tracks on TFIEOL are woefully lacking in any kind of direction. The opening title track clocks in at a completely unnecessary 15 minutes, and I can only fathom the reason behind such a decision is because the two consonants wanted to write a really long song. The core concept of the song is fine, but the riffs and vocal passages continue to repeat 10 minutes after their welcome has been worn out.
And the rest of the album suffers from that same lack of structure. There’s interesting moments in each of the songs, but they all feel like weird arrangements and time signatures that have been cobbled together with no expressed purpose other than to sound like weird arrangements and time signatures. Musically speaking, things are kept pretty simple, which either by intention or inability only helps to maintain the mediocrity. The guitar work consists of base level crunch riffs and high end phrases in minor keys to contrast, but after 40 minutes it all starts to sound the same. Vocally, J delivers the same woeful wail every time he opens his mouth, which robs the few high points on TFIEOL of any kind of identity.
I really hate being a Debbie Downer on any band’s first outing, but as much as I tried to get THE FULL INTREPID EXPERIENCE OF LIGHT to click, it never did. Maybe it’s over my head, maybe it just is what it is. Decide for yourself; check out 11 As Adversaries’ website for more info.