Fireworks

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Wardrum - 'Desolation' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     December 25, 2012    
 
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A record largely devoid of finesse and melody.

I was quite impressed by this band’s solid debut album last year, but highlighted that vocals with a “warmer” style might have benefited the songs. So, for the “possibly difficult” second album release I find myself with a mention in the credits, and a new vocalist (Yannis Papadopoulos) fronting the band. Hmm….

There are twelve songs on this album, and after six hearings, I cannot remember a single one of them; there is a small amount of variation present with ‘Parental’ and ‘Urban Storm’ standing out from the overall morass while they are playing, but nothing here remotely passes “the old grey whistle test”! With repeated listens I found myself thinking that whereas the songs on the debut had possibly been honed over a period of time, these come across as very ordinary, probably assembled relatively quickly, and might therefore explain the general lack of melody and sophistication. Unfortunately, there is also an almost constant machine gun bludgeoning riffery found in nearly every track. This and the promotion of the drums and bass far too high in the mix made for a very tiresome listening experience after a while.

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Arguably, departed vocalist Piero Laporale might have handled this stuff reasonably comfortably, but his replacement does not sound at home with it at all, and so often seems to be straining his voice to achieve the desired effect. At the start of ‘Common Ground’ where there is a complex time signature, it even seems to take a while for him to get in synch with the tune, such as it is. Given that it would seem he is currently studying classical and operatic singing at the University of Macedonia, this extra-curricular activity seems an unsuccessful diversion.

Sorry guys. I had high hopes for your sophomore release, but whereas the direction represented here may please the live Greek audiences, you have left this reviewer feeling exhausted and disappointed, and while there may be a market for this type of high energy, samey sounding material, you are unlikely to find it amongst most – if any – of the readers of this magazine and website, where a record largely devoid of finesse and melody will not be high on their music purchasing agenda.

Paul Jerome Smith

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