Epidemic - _Earth Penitentiary_ / _The Man That Kills Himself_
by: Quentin Kalis (2.5 and 3 respectively; single released in 2007)
Not to be confused with the Epidemic behind the classic _Decameron_, this Epidemic are a quartet of young Israelis with a similar love of death metal. _Earth Penitentiary_ is a four track demo, whilst _The Man That Kills Himself_ is a single.

Given that _EP_ is a demo, I can't really fault them for having an inferior production, but they would have benefited vastly from an improved sound, as the guitar sounds particularly weak. (Incidentally, this was mastered by prolific post-industrial artist Maor Appelbaum, but mastering can only do so much.) Although predominantly death, there are some unexpected left turns on their tracks, some of which are successful -- such as the wailing lead on "Carcinoma" -- whilst "For What?" would have benefited from omitting the "Only the strong survive" nu-core styled interlude. The final and title track is an interesting instrumental, with good progression and pacing, even if it is their most predictable number.

The production has improved for their CD single, _TMtKH_, and is much more powerful; but please, please, do something about that infernally hollow snare drum! Their music is considerably less generically old school and they have imbibed elements from the modern school, but without switching over. At eight minutes, is considerably longer than their previous work, and suggests both increased ability and confidence.

The unnamed B-Side is a power ballad, sung in Hebrew, which is great if you're a play list compiler for an AOR Israeli radio station. Or perhaps not -- it may sound like a radio friendly unit shifter, but for all I know, the lyrics may redden the cheeks of the most misogynistic pornogrinders. Whether it's a tale of love lost or gained makes no difference, and barring a bout of insomnia, I won't be listening to it again. On a positive note, it does demonstrate that they are capable of something other than the usual litany of death stylistics.

Their demo is a rather run of the mill entrant, but the new single suggests that they beginning to find their sound, and stronger, more unique material in future is definitely within their reach.

Contact: http://www.epidemic-online.com

(article published 31/12/2007)

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