Transmissions Through Oil & Blood

Written by: PP on 01/12/2010 03:58:35

Alright I give up. I've been trying for weeks now to come into terms with Guerra's debut album "Transmissions Through Oil & Blood", it's just not gonna happen. The terminology required to discuss it's genre just doesn't exist, simply because they're so eager to genre jump not just throughout the record, but even within individual songs. At one moment, they'll pull together a great piece of Gothenburg style melodic death metal riffage, the next moment they're closer to death metal, and occasionally hardcore and even metalcore elements pop up to confuse the listener even more. So for now, I'm just gonna go ahead and call it simply 'metal', which pretty much sums up the main problem with this record. It just feels unnatural and bland, even in places where it definitely shouldn't.

But before the guillotine falls, lets discuss some redeeming factors, which have kept me sane whilst going through this album time after time. First, the melodies. There are some very good attempts at melody, that much is easy to tell. You'll hear a passage in almost every song where you'll think along the lines of "hmm, that guitar melody was pretty sweet" or "the modern feeling of this section is great". The problem is that these are cut short with a nearly 100% success rate throughout the album by thrashy solos, modern death metal-inspired main riffs, or -core-esque instrumentation, leaving the listener scratching his/her head and wondering why did they just do that. The big picture tells us that Guerra still have a lot to learn about how to string together a full song with great melody and flow through and through; there are far too many sections which sound like they've just been cut-and-pasted together from the individual ideas of the band members, that at this point in time aren't in synchrony. What the band really needs to do is to learn to write songs as a collective unit instead of a band with members who all like different kinds of music. Because as it stands now, it's difficult to hear the "so honest it hurts" tag the band likes to associate with their music when the record essentially sounds like derivative music from big bands in a wide variety of different metal subgenres meshed together.

It's a shame, because you can tell that the band is trying really hard here, and that's why I feel like an ass dealing out a review like this. But criticism such as this is necessary so that Guerra will get together over a beer, collectively hate this review, and then next time in practice room someone tries something a little different and suggests "hey, how about you go like this instead of this". Because if you listen carefully enough, some decent modern thrash melodies are awaiting underneath the messy surface.


Download: Dark Woods Cometh, Beyond The Hills
For the fans of: Lamb Of God meets Exodus meets death metal
Listen: Myspace

Release date 30.03.2010
Blade Catcher Records

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