Left To Vanish

Versus The Throne

Written by: TL on 05/12/2008 16:09:50

I'm going to quote some promotional material here: "Philadelphia's Left To Vanish creates intricate, groove oriented brutality combining elements of ambient guitars over thick cut riffs that are as catchy as they are doom-laden!".

Let's get a couple of things straight from the get go. First off, anyone who's had a five minute conversation with my fellow scribe AB will already know of at least a handful of bands who can dress up as schoolgirls and still out-brutal Left To Vanish any day of the week. Second, there is absolutely nothing even remotely catchy going on, on the band's sophomore record "Versus The Throne", not even by a long shot.

Imagine taking deathcore, except slowing all that speed you're used to down to a Doom-metal crawl. Now I know what most of you are thinking - the slowness of most Doom is pretty God damn boring. Well it's a fuckin' lap dance on the house compared to the hybrid-core these dudes have cooked up here, because where Doomy slowness usually allows for a progressive expansion of thick atmospheres, here the snail-pace simply means pretentious slow-mo breakdowns everywhere. Every single piece of promising southern groove or melodic ambience that this band boasts off is allowed a life span of only a dozen seconds or so, before it is stupendously blasted and broken into an abysmal bleakness that ends up being the album's only dominating feature.

A band that's somewhat similar to Left To Vanish would be The Acacia Strain. Now imagine what would happen to that band's sound if you, like LTV, stripped it of it's depressive mood. What would be left but an endless amount of moshcore breakdowns? One thing is for sure and that is that "Versus The Throne" does nothing to answer that question. Instead it makes a good effort at being an extremely annoying listen by featuring screams and growls that are totally and absolutely indecipherable for 99.98% of the time, that being in spite of the production that's otherwise great. Moreover, there are no sensible song structures within sight, and while I'm sure that makes this kind of band well proud, it’s a huge fuckin' problem when nothing else is being offered to accommodate the listener.

If you should for some reason want to check Left To Vanish out, in spite of my criticism, I suggest that you check out either "Dirt Merchant" or "Northern Lights" as those are the songs that have the most prominent periods of either groove or melody, where some momentum is at least gathered before the band pummel senselessly into another break. Other than that, the only thing off "Versus The Throne" I would not try to discourage you from listening to is the interlude "Whitewolf & Nash" that sports some Misery Signals-ish melodies. But then why not just listen to Misery Signals? In any case, you've gotta be one either strange, pretentious and/or idiotically br00tal dude to like this album. Personally I can assure you that I'm never listening to it again.

Download: Dirt Merchant, Northern Lights, Whitewolf & Nash
For The Fans Of: See You Next Tuesday, The Acacia Strain,
Listen: myspace.com/lefttovanish

Release Date 17.11.2008
LifeForce Records

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