Monday, November 14, 2011
The Gardnerz- The System of Nature
The Gardnerz is a four piece death/doom band from Sweden. All four members have pretty solid backgrounds in the extreme metal scene. The group formed back in 2008 but this marks their first release together. The first thing about The Gardnerz that will grab your attention is their ability to incorporate doom elements but still pack a mean death metal bite. Many bands playing death/doom these days lose that impact and most of the time it makes for a dull, uninspired sounding record. Luckily that isn't the case on The System of Nature. This clocks in at one hour and has you on the edge of your seat for every second of it. Not a dull moment is in attendance, even with the lengthy playtime it still manages to leave you wanting more.
The sheer amount of amazing riffs on this release is astounding to say the least. Enchanting melodies are abundant and hard hitting riffs run rampant on every track. Tracks change direction out of the blue in a very cohesive manner making for an absolutely enthralling listen. The writing is very strong throughout and the structures vary a great deal, rather than just switching things up the same way every track in a desperate attempt to sound "edgy". Occasional "softer" moments like the intro to "Incident" really do an excellent job at spicing up the flow of the album. Said clean moments mesh with the distortion quite nicely, and during the few moments where the two clash amazing things occur (see "Confusion").
The vocal approach used on this album is much more menacing than what you'd normally hear from the average death/doom band. Ranging from gutturals to sinister screams there is a decent enough variety to keep things interesting. The production is very polished and even. On most occasions squeaky clean production bugs me but on The System of Nature it fits the sound like a glove. Having a big name like Dan Swanö handling the mastering on the album certainly isn't a con either.
Overall The Gardnerz are playing a brand of death/doom that will even appeal to those who aren't typically fans of the genre. The System of Nature is an extremely successful debut. In fact, it is possibly the best debut of the year. There is an endless amount of memorable moments to be found here and the replay value is beyond through the roof. Sure to be found somewhere on most top 20 of 2011 lists this is certainly an album you're not going to want to miss. The Gardnerz has definitely set the bar high, it will be interesting to see what their next move will be. Get.