Molotov Solution

The Harbinger

Written by: BL on 21/07/2009 11:49:13

There's an inherent anger about the latest record "The Harbinger" by the Las Vegas quintet Molotov Solution. Most of it shines through from their lyrics about domestic and world politics to government conspiracies, which, given the current economic climate, certainly leaves you with something to think about that perhaps is slightly relevant. Beyond that though, this band delivers an excercise in how to sound just about as run-of-the-mill, Whitechapel/Impending Doom clone as you can get. Granted, deathcore is a genre that can be hard to sound unique in, perhaps even more so than its incestuous metalcore sibling. But this is at the point where originality is virtually devoid of presence and you rely solely on writing solid songs - so the songs have got to be damn good.

I can't really negatively criticise much in the instrumental department for competence since everything is solid and quite cohesive. Guitars just tremolo and breakdown their way through all the used and abused minor scales and various dissonant chuggery you've heard all before. "Corpus Imperium" almost breaks this rule though with its interesting tapped intro over a creepy dissonant ambience. Unfortunately it isn't as if Whitechapel haven't done that already which meant I was only mildy impressed. Drumwork is moderately paced, sparsely throwing in blast beats and double bass pedal spasms without really leaving any mark or turning any heads (even when there is plenty of opportunity to do so). Nick Arthur's vocals are similar rather bland and monotonous to listen to. The deathcore vocalist cookbook has given all the bare ingredients: death growls, high screeches and the occasional mid shout. But he doesn't excel at all in any of those departments, which is a slight shame given that it could really upped the excitement levels slightly and belief into the hard hitting lyrics.

The best songs are passable and decent background music (and also sound too much like the aforementioned bands), but at their worst they often become a sludgy, forgettable blur of an example of how to not make a name for yourself. Given the repetitiveness and mundaneness it becomes a rather slow and arduous journey through almost 42 minutes of this album - which for me is far too long. However the second half of the album is a slight notch above the first, though that isn't saying an awful lot. The mid section and onwards songs have a far greater use of ambient melodies to build atmosphere (pales in comparison to how haunting Whitechapel and Oceano can be though) and the final track "The Dawn Of Ascendency" even displays a more conventional sense of melody with its reflective and sombre slow mood combined with a nice guitar solo at the start, and follows through with some catchy riffing - the strongest track by some way.

If you are a fan of deathcore like me, then you will find the odd pick in the bunch that will at least register some shallow entertainment and one standout song in the closer. But on the whole it is hard to find a recommendation for something so average. There is much better competition amongst the ranks elsewhere (Carnifex can show you how to be far more catchy and memorable while Oceano can teach you about how to really turn on the heaviness and the atmoshphere), so it becomes a rental approval only.

Download: Corpus Imperium, Enslaved, The Dawn Of Ascendency
For the fans of: Whitechapel, Impending Doom, Your Demise
Listen: Myspace

Release date 08.06.2009
Metal Blade Records

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