Monday, September 1, 2014

Innsmouth-"The Shadow Over Innsmouth"

    May the Great Old Ones be praised with insane brutal technical death metal! Innsmouth, a name taken from an H.P. Lovecraft story, is a band with a very complex death metal sound. This group of Danish metal musicians demonstrates some extreme technical musical abilities, and references plenty of H.P. Lovecraft stories with their debut release, “The Shadow Over Innsmouth.” They approach their music in a similar fashion to groups such as Nocturnus, Nile, Origin and Vile. There is a mix of old school death metal and more modern technical death metal. Innsmouth cleverly alters their tempos and time signatures to keep the music constantly evolving. Also, the technical guitar fills display some amazing guitar shredding talents. 
    Now, lyrically all the songs on this album convey a science fiction horror vibe, and they draw noticeable influence from H.P. Lovecraft writings. I personally enjoy H.P. Lovecraft stories, but find too many metal bands use his works to write lyrics. Sometimes I wish bands would create their own science fiction horror themed lyrics while maybe taking influence from how Lovecraft came up with his ideas. However, I guess bands just decide it is easier to take the themes directly from his stories. Although I seem to find this trend overdone, I cannot deny that the music is enjoyable and compliments Lovecraft’s stories rather well.
    The beginning to this album commences in chaotic technical brutal style with the song, “Vomiting A Hole in Your Soul.” Right away the guitarist rips through a variety of scales in maximum overdrive speed. For some reason the drumming seems to lack passion and did not provide a strong rhythmic backbone. Vocally, the singer does a decent job presenting the lyrics with a loud thunderous death growl. His vocals at times seemed to get drowned out by the chaotic guitar shredding. “Dreams of Drowning,” is a prime example of this band’s insane technical sound, but the song is also an example of how the music becomes very overwhelming. I must credit Innsmouth for exploring the extreme music spectrum. Still, they do get carried away on this album with the random guitar shredding and complex compositions.
    Song number four on this album, “Under the Pyramids,” is one my favorite songs on this album and contains some really good solid death metal riffs. The fills are more strategically placed compared to the previous songs. Also, I like how the tempo fluctuates as the singer presents the science fiction themed lyrics with his brutal death growl. Another great track to take away from this album is the instrumental song, “The Colour Out of Space.” Taking the name of one of my favorite Lovecraft stories, this song surprisingly begins with a soft piano piece. Soon the piano is accompanied by a heavy guitar riff and there are moments of pleasant melodic guitar shredding. The final song on this album, “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” is another track that I enjoyed and features more fluid technical death metal riffs.
    Even after hearing numerous bands write music about H.P. Lovecraft stories, Innsmouth found a way to keep me interested. Their guitar playing abilities deserve high praise and the musicianship on this album only comes from hard work and dedication. I think people who enjoy technical death metal will really gravitate towards this release, while those who prefer less complicated extreme music might be left scratching their heads. No matter what your preference happens to be, “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” is an album full of amazing technical death metal surprises. I think even the Great Old Ones would be impressed by Innsmouth’s technical musical abilities. They might even let the band live...

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