BENEATH DEAD WAVES
There's nothing worse than an average, middle-of-the-road album; an album that stirs little emotion or excitement. One that's not bad, not good, just lacklustre on every level. Between Dead Waves' 'Inertia' is one such example, and listening to its eight tracks is about as uninspiring as emptying a cat litter tray. At least with the latter analogy, it results in freshness, although there's little that's fresh about Beneath Dead Waves. Quasi-technical and groove-infused thrash, mixed up with some derivatively progressive (in actuality, regressive) elements are what we're dealing with here, which is a long way from the ridiculousness of press blurb claims that this lot have created "a unique and striking signature sound." What?! Of a similarly ridiculous nature are comparisons to the likes of Between the Buried and Me, Tool, and The Dillinger Escape Plan. Really, please.
So where, precisely, do Beneath Dead Waves falter? Well, they don't. They also don't shine in any major way, and that's the problem. Some of the musicianship is good enough, particularly the guitars. However, the passages where speedy fretboard licks and solos dominate, it's all from the school of mindless widdle rather than playing with any degree of emotion or refined musicality. Likewise vocally - the growls sound more like a guy with a nasty cold rather than any sense of snarled artistry. And all of the clean vocals are ever so bland - they're largely in tune, rather just devoid of emotion, like the band's collective sound. The production's fairly good and that's where they score an extra half a point from me above an, otherwise, average five.
Overall, I've heard better and heard worse than this but an album like 'Inertia' that provokes little reaction in me, either way, is one I cannot recommend in any small way. And to compare this to the innovative might of a band like BTBAM is an inexcusable travesty. Right, I'm off to listen to 'The Great Misdirect' to cleanse my ears with something genuinely progressive, exciting, emotionally stimulating and innovatively exhilarating. In other words, everything that Beneath Dead Waves are not.
Review by Mark Holmes
30th June 2014
5) You Were Nothing
7) A Life Worth Taking
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...about as uninspiring as emptying a cat litter tray."