Released: 1996, Endless Records
Reviewer: Nathan Robinson
Yeah, yeah, yeah…so this CD is from 1996. So what? Have you ever heard of this band?? No? Then read on! I just discovered Lethargy about three weeks ago, and I think they rule! If you don't already know, I believe technical metal is the greatest form of music ever. And Lethargy delivers just that!
Lethargy hail from Rochester, New York. After three demos, a split 7", and a couple compilation appearances, they finally made it onto CD with the release of this album. Lethargy does not play death metal, nor thrash. In fact the band is hard to categorize. They resemble hardcore to an extent, but the composition and musicianship is of such a higher level. They definitely have grind elements, through the use of blast beat sections. The vocals borderline on being death metal, but are still intelligible. And sometimes Lethargy indulges in some groovy rock-type riffs, or they veer off on a jazz tangent. But all things considered, I would say they are just an extremely technical metal band. In fact they resemble Human Remains very closely in style. Both bands combine grindcore extremism with strange, wacky, off-the-wall guitar playing, and gut-wrenching vocals. But Lethargy's sound is much more cleaner than Human Remains' wall of sound. Plus, Lethargy's songs are longer and contain lots more variation and technicality. Songs are loaded with riffs, sudden changes in tempo, and odd-timing. Guitarists Erik Burke, Bill Kelliher, and bassist Adam Routier flail all over the frets and are rather mindboggling with their skill. They do not perform any leads, but music this insane needs no guitar leads. Drummer Brann Dailor is quick, tight, and spastic! Absolutely killer! Erik also performs the twisted vocals. But the strange lyrics in each of the songs are very short, letting the music shine through most of the time. And several of the tracks begin with weird samples, which tend to be pretty funny and are destined for my answering machine.
Doug White produced the album at Watchmen Studios…and this guy has done a phenomenal job! The guitars are heavy, but very clean. And each of the guitarists is distinguishable. Even the bass guitar can be heard amongst the mayhem. Plus, the drums sound natural. For an album this complicated and insane, it really helps to have good production.
I have not heard anything this crazy since Gorguts' "Obscura". This is not an album to get used to after a few listens. And even though practically nothing was memorable after one listen, I was instantly hooked and cannot get this CD out of my player! Lethargy is truly an original-sounding band. Anyone into Human Remains, Dim Mak, or just crazy technical music must check these guys out! Visit the Lethargy web site at http://www.geocities.com/lethargymetal/
!!!! The band's current status is questionable, as Brann and Bill have joined Today is the Day. However, look forward to the release of some newer songs later this year…either as bonus tracks on a re-issue of "It's Hard to Write…" or as a separate EP.