Desperate Man’s Diary (Abacus)
by Hansel Merchor
The opening chords make you think of post-rock and its vast possibilities. For a few moments, it has you dreaming skyward, but the brutality that ensues only gets you fantasizing about corpse paint, dudes obsessed with Satanic paraphernalia, and blackened metal. Fast-forward three minutes and this North Carolina quartet has already played about four melodies and has added pyrotechnic guitars; which may provide the closest link between Miss Pac Man and extreme music. The songs follow a strict pattern: Three or four melodies rule the song, hovering guitar solos constantly in the same tuning, awesome drums filled with fills, a somewhat buried double-bass thunder, and a guttural voice screams for death metal and for these fellows to let their hair grow pass their shoulders. Think of a lightweight The Red Chord and we’re still talking about really heavy stuff. Think of a groovier and less venerated Messhuggah, and we are getting close. Imagine Deicide beyond the upside down crosses, Malevolent Creation with a lot more class, Nocturnus without the suck factor, and multiply threefold.