Detachment - _Suspended in Stone_
(Independent, 2000)
by: Brian Meloon (9 out of 10)
As I've been saying for years, the main problem with Top 10 lists is that they're out of date almost immediately after being put in writing. Such is the case with my Top 10 of 2000 list, as within days of the release of CoC #52, I received two releases which belong in my top 10: Mutant's _The Aeonic Majesty_ [CoC #47] and Detachment's _Suspended in Stone_. Detachment hail from the metal hot spot of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, but their album was recorded at Morrisound, so the production is excellent. Their music is technical, melodic thrash with keyboards, similar to old Nocturnus, but tighter, catchier, more diverse and less sci-fi. As with Nocturnus, their music has a good degree of keyboard work, though the music is heavily guitar-based. The keyboards add melodies and atmosphere to fill out rather than dominate the band's sound. The vocals are shouted in a style which suits the music, but there are some sections with decent power metal style clean vocals ("Empty Attack"). The songs are moderate in complexity: not repetitive, but not straightforward, and generally show a good mix of tempos and riff styles. The playing is excellent on all counts: varied and interesting, as well as being very tight. In particular, the guitar work is exceptional, as their guitarist handles many different styles -- from tight, staccato harmonized single-note lines to chunky power chords to quirky, percussive sections -- with ease. His solos are technical, but appropriate for the song, and not overused. The band diversifies their sound with some experimental sections, most of which are well done, but feel a little out of place. The Cynic-influenced jazz break in "Bloodmirror" is one such section. Overall, this is a very impressive debut, and I hope to hear more from the band in the future. Their website is currently under construction, but it does have some links to downloadable MP3s. Tracks I'd recommend as examples of what the band is capable of are "Unintelligible" and "Empty Attack". CDs are available from the band for now, but the band is working on wider distribution.


(article published 13/5/2001)

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