Released: 2007, Metal Blade
Possibly the only defining feature of Paths of Possession is that it has George Corpsegrinder Fisher on vocals. Nothing so far about THE END OF THE HOUR has convinced me that they are worth taking seriously, not the music anyway. In respect to the musicians and the amount of work that has obviously gone into the album however, it’s necessary to at least detail why.
It’s supposed to be a concept album, but since I haven’t been able to find lyrics online, nor were they included in the promo I received, I won’t comment on that aspect of the album. For all I know, it could be an amazingly well-constructed well-written intelligent and insightful album lyrics-wise, and the blurb found on Metal Blade’s website certainly promises much: “a concept album about the surreal horrors that one man experiences during war, death and the beyond that warps his very existence into a demigod-like awareness that may have the ability to consume life as we know it”.
The music itself is competently done, but personally it fails to raise an eyebrow from a listener, let alone a hard-on. With Erik Rutan at the helm and Alan Douches (Nile, Sepultura, Mastodon) mastering, you expect a certain level of sound quality and indeed you’re not disappointed. All the instruments are where they’re meant to be, in amazing proportion and clarity. The drums are full, clear and hard-hitting, the guitars are (too?) deep and bassy, and boy, has Corpsegrinder ever sounded better? Deep-throated growls and grunts, yet with semi-intelligible delivery that treads the line between comprehensibility and brutality. All in all, the production bit is well done and no complaints on that front.
But where oh where is the oomph factor? The riffs are tired and rehashed, at times they drag on and on. There’s little variation within the songs, thrashy riffs with rather clichéd melodic death influences, especially in the twin guitar harmonised bits. At times, it even sounds sloppy and messy, which is criminal for a supposedly death metal band. “Razor sharp riffs” is a cliché I can safely avoid for this review. But the drums if possible are even worse than the guitars. NO variation whatsoever, the same fill/roll on every verse, nothing different in the kicking or snare work. But worst of all, there’s no attack, no aggression, no pace. The drums drive a metal band, give it the pulse and kicks your arse into gear when you’re falling asleep. Nope, not feeling it here. Complexity? What’s that?
It’s not something I would advise a fan of either death or melodic death to get. George Fisher fans will be the only ones who will derive anything at all from this album. An interesting side project that had raised hopes and didn’t deliver, will be the epitaph. On a brighter note, Cannibal Corpse are due an album soon, and I’ll be looking forward to that with considerably more interest.
PS: I wish I had the lyrics…