Thursday, June 18, 2015

Iwrestledabearonce - Hail Mary (2015)

I honestly have no freaking idea of why I keep coming back to the American math core band Iwrestledabearonce. The band's core consists mostly of crazy spastic attacks and rhythmic nonsense, but when the pieces fit, they have the ability to create a couple of good songs per album that makes the listening experience a little less painful. The band is one of very few death metal core bands that has survived and somehow gains some kind of recognition, even if they are on the verge of losing it as well. Sometimes, I think that the name is the only reason to why the band got a deal with Century Media, because it rolls pretty good on your tongue when you pronounce it.

Oh well, "Hail Mary" is the band's 4th full length effort, and it goes in the same line as all of their previous records. It is insanity from start to finish, a wild barrage of riffs, breakdowns, screams, and very few melodic lines. If you are not paying attention, you will get lost in this deep metal jungle. The members of the band sure knows how to handle their instruments, but instead of emerging into something epic and amazing, the notes that is coming from the band often comes out as a big wanking fest, each track trying to top the other one off by going even crazier.

Ultimately, the member that stands out the most is, not surprisingly, the singer. Courtney LaPlante is leading the army of insanity with her high growling voice, and also some beautiful normal singing here and there. But it is when she uses her clean voice that the band reaches their top level. Okay, she is far from the best female singer in the metal universe, but the band knows exactly how to get the maximum capacity out of it. Instead of going bat shit crazy, they use cleaner, longer, epic melodies , which also works well for the variation of the album itself. Such a shame that those moments are rare in a typical Iwabo album.

I do understand though why these "normal" moments are so few, it is because the band has found its niche, a style that they are passionate about and love to play. The only problem is that the audience for this music is fairly slim. There are not many people who would have the strength or patience to go through a album like "Hail Mary", and even less would love it. Personally, I feel like I have earned myself a medal for going through this album about 5+ times.

There are a couple of songs that do sound decent enough for me to actually endure and even enjoy. "Green Eyes" have a fantastic chorus where Courtney shines, the double bass is blasting through, and the swirling guitars hang around in the background comfortably, while the second part of the 2 part song "Doomed To Fall" is a nice, normal piece with ambient moments and no craziness what so ever, and the album ender "Your God Is Too Small" is not only good because it is the end of the album, but also because I like the structure in it. These three songs definitely saves the album from being a steaming pile of shit, but it doesn't make it anything fancy.

I am a deeply disturbed human being, because I have made the decision that I will come back to Iwrestledabearonce when they release the next album. How is that possible when I could not stand this album? Well, because the band is interesting, and they have the most weirdly addictive band name ever. "Hail Mary" is just a bunch of gibberish, but it is unique gibberish, so it is more like art than music. And just like art, it is just for the heavily passionate folks within its own community, because they are the only ones who truly understands it (or at least pretends to).

Songs worthy of recognition: Green Eyes, Doomed To Fall Pt. 2, Your God Is Too Small

Rating: 4/10 Trips

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