A horrible hack

A Life Once Lost

The Fourth Plague

Year Released: 2002
Format: CD
Label: Robotic Empire
Reviewed by Tom Hughes on Jun 13, 2007
New one out on what was Robodog until pretty recently (I'm in the dark on why the name change at this point, I dunno, maybe it's an empire of robotic dogs, it doesn't say), this a bunch of Philly kids touting a five-song EP (and their second release) of technical metal splurge. No messing around with intros, it's on with the goddamn rock from the first split second, with proper old-school guttural death metal vocals, steam-hammer kick drum madness and out-and-out vulgar metal axe action. Such tricks crop up much of the way through, but also get pretty nimbly interspersed with some truly ace, much tighter, drier, punkier (but still way metal) breakdowns, which worked better to my mind, coming off more dynamic and downright earth-shaking (a bit pg99 maybe) than the tongue-waggling prog-death bits. Good good. And so it flits between these two modes all very effectively for five songs, chucking in a few nice big chord sequences now and again before segueing right at the end into a bizarre, lush flamenco passage (no shit) and then pulling out some heraldic, Bach-like, Valkyrie-metal stylings to finish us off. And finish me off it pretty much did to be honest, though nevertheless it remains that at several points up to there I was pleased rather greatly by this particular big ugly noise.

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