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Released: 2009, AP Laurenson Records
Reviewer: Robert Williams
Common Dead is the brainchild of one Andrew Laurenson; a multi-instrumentalist jack of all trades who handles the whopping combined duties of composer, instrumentalist, vocalist, programmer, musical arranger and producer on this self titled debut released in December of 2009.
What does this one man band of sorts sound like? Common Dead's own website provide a pretty apt description; what with their New Wave Of American Metal tagline. What does NWOAM sound like? Sure, I could see this band's fanbase being made up of kids into Lamb of God, Mastodon, Hatebreed and the like. I also hear slight Gothenburg riffing here and there on opening number "Abrupt Legacy" To his credit Andrew is a gifted and accomplished axeman in his own right. Having said that it is my opinion that vocals are not his forte. The vocal sound on this effort is pretty raw and unaffected and as a result kind of sound like your friend goofing around in his bedroom.
"Chronic Solitude" has some excellent staccato leadwork and kick ass rhythm guitar to boot. A noticeable amount of Scandinavian influence rears its head on this one. Let's get to the drums on this thing. While it is understandable that many accomplished guitarists spend what seems like an eternity finding a drummer with chops that can keep up, I cannot fault Andrew Laurenson for programming the drums on this disc. Where I do find fault is the attention to detail in regards to the drums. The crash cymbals sound like absolute ass and as sterile and lifeless as you are likely to find in 2010. There are some really top notch and affordable drum programs available on today's market such as the de facto industry standard "EZ Drummer" and I'd be interested to see how Common Dead's sound were to develop with a more polished drum sound.
"Music That Kills" begins with a pummelling riff and seems to draw heavily from more of a death metal kind of influence in regards to the guitars. "Pain Is All We Share" has some tricky riffing, very progressive in feel. I would guesstimate Andrew to have an appreciation for a number of different metal genres as this often seems to be the case with his music. He kills me though with his clean vocals on this track.
All in all, the nine songs on COMMON DEAD must have been a huge undertaking for any musician; let alone one musician. My hats off to Andrew for bearing all of the weight on his own shoulders. He's obviously a very driven individual and it will remain to be seen if the one man band thing will work out for him in the future. In the meantime I'd be interested in hearing him integrate into a band with a killer vocalist and spot on drummer.
1. Abrupt Legacy
2. Death Of Nostalgia
3. Chronic Solitude
4. Guarantee Of Certain Doom
5. Music That Kills
6. Pain Is All We Share
7. Savage Rivalry
9. Burn In The Gut
All lyrics, music, arrangements, instrumentation and production - Andrew Laurenson
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