Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Without Waves- Scab Platter
Without Waves is a four piece metal band from Chicago. With an album title like Scab Platter it wouldn't be a stretch for someone to assume this is some sort of pornogrind/goregrind band, if that is what you are in search of you will be majorly disappointed. The members have all played music with one another for years and started the project in hopes to make natural experimental music. They blend various styles together in order to create a unique sound all of their own and manage to keep it cohesive for the most part. This being a feat in itself they have already fought half of the battle. Clocking in at a brief twenty five minutes, Without Waves has your attention for just long enough to leave a lasting impression.
The fretwork on the album is most definitely the highlight. It is clear when listening that these guys have been playing for a long time and are well rounded in their influence. The playing ranges from fairly simple, almost radio friendly tracks ("The Way To Crash & Burn" and "Dhyana") to frantic tracks filled with a certain amount of rage that rivals Dillinger Escape Plan. Even during the albums most technical moments each note is plucked with the utmost precision. The band also shows off their already matured songwriting skills, maintaining a sense of direction without losing their overall intensity.
Vocal style vary quite a bit throughout. The track "Dhyana" that consists entirely of clean vocals and they are surprisingly well executed. Unlike many metal bands that just throw in cleans for the sake of variation Cwan actually has a decent voice. Harsh vocals are used pretty often and he mainly sticks to mid-ranged screams/growls. Even though the harsh vocals don't branch out much there is still a fair amount of vocal diversity on the album, enough to keep your interest to say the least.
The instrumental track "Sativa Sunrise" is hands-down one of the best instrumentals of 2011. Easily matching the instrumental beauty that was featured on Scale the Summit's "Carving Desert Canyons". These guys finally show of their niche for writing excellent music and truly let the music speak for itself. The main gripe to be had about Scab Platter lies in its length. The album is less than thirty minutes long. Essentially Scab Platter only consists of five actual songs, an intro, and two interludes. With the style being played here that goes by at what appears to be the blink of an eye. There is certainly room for more material here, they could double the length of this release and they still wouldn't be overstaying their welcome. There is also a little bit of an issue with the overall flow of the album. While the tracks themselves are cohesive, some tracks don't lead into others so well.
Overall Scab Platter is an extremely good debut. These guys definitely have something to work with here. There is still some room for improvement, but given the fact that this is the bands first release they have plenty of time to workout the kinks. Hopefully we will see another release from Without Waves soon expanding on the already solid sound they have established here. Fans of metal in general with a bit of an experimental sound should give this a listen.