A horrible hack

The Fifth Alliance

Unrevealed Secrets of Ruin

Year Released: 2013
Format: CD
Label: Demons Run Amok
Reviewed by C. Kuzmiski on Sep 20, 2013
Anything new in the post/metal/hardcore/sludge cannon is always very welcome. When it's done well it's one of the best things ever etc. When it's done well...

The trouble here is it all sounds so mannered. Or even worse, laboured – much like their obvious heroes Isis. They have clearly spent a long time on the tracks and they are going to give us our moneys worth.

Do we need the solid ninety seconds of a painfully slow drum beat in Seven Seven Seven? Probably not. There is just not enough hours in the day to justify a two and a half minute intermission – {Intermezzo}, sorry – either. The problem is that they are pretty convincing at the 'loud' bit but flounder at the 'quiet'. Playing a few minor chords for three minutes doesn’t build tension, it creates distraction. It's ok to make your audience work a bit but it gets a bit of a slog after a while.

There are some good moments however. Analgesia is a pretty chewy bit of doomy hardcore, as is closer Standing Tall. Once eleven minute opener Hollow gets going it has the much-missed arch-drama of early Will Haven. But like the aforementioned bands later releases, the production is far too clean. This album actually sounds better on PC speakers. Which is engineering heresy of the most barbaric kind.

It's not a bad album, but it's an overcrowded market.

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