Lethargy - _It's Hard to Write With a Little Hand_
by: Brian Meloon (
Lethargy are one of the few truly unique bands out there right now. Their sound is probably best compared to the extremely technical style of Sieges Even (circa _Life Cycle_) or to Atheist (circa _Unquestionable Presence_), but that's not quite right. There are some moments which sound like a more aggressive Death (circa _Symbolic_), and even a slight Primus influence. Most of the album is aggressive, complete with blast beats, but some of the riffs sound "goofy" (though not "goofy" in a bad way, i.e. unintentionally goofy). Their style is very technical, though technical in a "noodley" way, not concentrating on complex rhythmic syncopations, but rather complex individual parts weaved together into a single composition. Unfortunately, these compositions lack structure. Although there are abbreviated structures here and there, their main compositional style is the jumble-of-riffs style. For example, the opening track, "Careborne", has a completely new riff pop up with 8 seconds left in the song. The riff is played a few times, and the song ends. However unpleasing this compositional style might be (it isn't at all unpleasing to me), it does fit their approach. Unfortunately for me, over half of the songs are ones that were on their previous demos: three are from _Humor Me, You Funny Little Man_ (see review in CoC #4), one is a medley of songs from _Humor Me_ and _Tainted_, and one ("Among", previously "Among the Dead I Lie") is from their first demo, _Lost in This Existence_. Still it's nice to have them on CD, finally. Most of the songs start out with samples, which seem out of place, since they are used very infrequently throughout the rest of disc. Also very out of place is the final track, which is a "remix" of some of their songs, done by the guys in Forward Now (see CoC #9 or concert review this issue). However, unlike the Pantera, White Zombie, or Megadeth remixes, this "remix" bears no resemblance to the original song at all. It doesn't sound like Lethargy, it sounds like Forward Now, and whatever you might think of FN, it really doesn't fit with the flavor of the rest of the album. In any case, the production is great, the playing is great, and the style is truly unique, so this is essential for all fans of ultra-technical metal.
(article published 11/10/1996)
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