Magtesløs

Starry-Eyed Truth

Written by: AP on 03/12/2010 23:28:50

Magtesløs are a metalcore band out of the small Danish towns of Seest and Børkop; so fresh out of the box that even local music enthusiasts like us make our first acquaintance with them via this debut album, "Starry-Eyed Truth". By the Danish band name, which translates to powerless, one might be inclined to believe that Magtesløs write music in their native tongue, but this is not the case. Which is a shame, a matter of opinion though it may be, because the Nordic languages, when growled or screamed, sound much more unnerving than English. For the purposes of this review, however, I shall refrain from referring to my linguistic preferences again, and instead focus on dissecting this bizarre piece of music to the best of my abilities.

Magtesløs are not ones to delay showing off their best assets, flashing their appreciation of angular structure, eclectic influences and flagrant brutality early with "Frustrate Me" and "Unrealistic Reality". In the space of six minutes the soundscape is rattled by a series of quaking breakdowns, interspersed with twists of jazz and technical riffery by the books of modern metalcore (you know, the sound pioneered by industrial metal bands, in which the lowest strings are put on heavy duty and the idea is to combine the least harmonic notes possible so as to achieve a dissonant twang). The formula is decent, but its execution suffers from janteloven, a perception not uncommon in Denmark, which holds that success and achievement are inappropriate endeavours. Musically this perplexing concept translates to Magtesløs having the necessary know-how, but limiting their expression to the extent that instances of novelty are few and far in between, and opportunities for exploring, experimenting and evolving are left untouched, replaced instead by incessant chugging and a plurality of unnecessary breakdowns.

In almost every song there are signs of promise, but all too often the band refrains from shining and tries to be extreme and uncompromising instead. It's as though Magtesløs had enough material for an EP, and then filled in the gaps with anonymous metal fodder. The most tragic manifestation of this comes with "How Can We Know the Right Way When We Haven't Went the Wrong", a furiously chaotic maelstrom of intensity that stands alone amidst largely pointless filler, and forms one of the four pillars that prevent "Starry-Eyed Truth" from descending into the depths of Danish incognito metal. What Magtesløs need to do, is latch onto these songs and start writing new material around them.

6

Download: Frustrate Me, Unrealistic Reality, Lack of Conclusions, How Can We Know...
For the fans of: 100 Knives Inside, Malefice, Mevadio, Vira
Listen: Myspace

Release date 23.04.2010
Chaotic MisManagement

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