Total Death (Ecuador) – Desolate Recollections

I am forcibly REVOKING Total Death’s name. I am revoking because there is nothing Total nor Death about Total Death. Partial Life would be a more appropriate name. This is far too half-assed to be Total, and far too wimpy to be Death, and it’s not energetic enough to be Full Life, so Partial Life it is. ‘Desolate Recollections’ is gay gay gay gay gay and I have no idea why American Line Productions, well known for carrying excellent death and black metal artists like Paracoccidioidomicosisproctitissarcomucosis and Yaotl Mictlan, would actually choose to release an album as dumb, awkward, unmetal, and embarrassing as this. There is no rational way that they can justify SUPPORTING this kind of thing, even if it will probably sell a trillion copies and be heralded as progressive genius and blah blah blah it still sucks.

Okay, so the most metal parts of this album make Nightwish look like fucking Dying Fetus in comparison, that’s how soft they are. By the most UTTERLY liberal stretch of the imagination, you could ALMOST call the heaviest parts of this melodic death (they feature double bass and unclean vocals that are slightly lower than conversational), but the vast majority of the album is softer than that. Now I’m not going to sit here and say that heaviness is a prerequisite for metal (well, yeah, I will when it’s supposed to be DEATH METAL, but still), but you go waaay too far when half the material on your CD is, no shit, soft rock and roll. I’m not kidding. ‘Out Of Here, Near You’ is a soft rock song with about 30 seconds of double bass and somewhat harsh vocals. ‘Pleasure Remains Pain’ is the same way. ‘Insolent World’ is just some electronic beats with a POWERFUL POLITICAL STATEMENT in the form of George W. Bush samples. And beyond this stuff, the rest of the material is an incredibly soft, boring breed of modern heavy metal.

I suppose the most amazing thing is that a lot of the incredibly soft material on this record doesn’t even manage to be tuneful. Half the riffs seriously make no goddamn sense on any melodic level, which is kind of a problem when you’re playing cuddly rock/metal. I wouldn’t have nearly as much bitterness towards this if the band was actually competent at writing soft rock. Soft rock isn’t bad. There are plenty of pop artists who, despite their inherent gayness, can write a catchy tune and make it stick. They can write songs that manage to be good regardless of what your tastes typically are. Partial Life CAN’T EVEN DO THIS. So let’s see what Partial Life CAN’T do. One: They can’t play any particularly extreme breed of metal. Two: they can’t play gentle, cuddly metal. Three: they can’t play soft rock. So what CAN this band do? I have no idea, because whatever it is, it never shows up on THIS CD, so I’m pretty sure it’s entirely absent if the best outro track they could think of was TECHNO BEATS AND A GEORGE W. BUSH SAMPLE.

This is terrible and American Line Productions should be ashamed. I have a huge feeling that this was some bid at mainstream success for both band and label, and that the band originally played extreme metal. Or at least something more extreme than this. This album is terrible and every single copy of ‘Desolate Recollections’ should be impaled on stakes and arranged around the country of Ecuador as a warning to all.

(Originally written for http://www.vampire-magazine.com)

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~ by noktorn on August 5, 2007.

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