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Angel Eyes

Midwestern

(The Mylene Sheath; US: 1 Jul 2010; UK: 10 Jul 2010)

The aural equivalent of being hit on the head with a stick

Fans of rumbling, grinding, doom-metal might take an interest in Angel Eyes’ brand of distorted sludge. While observing the conventions of clean intros followed by thudding distortion, pounding rhythms, and rage-shrouded lyrics, the band offers some innovative sounds mixed deep into the stew (are those chimes I’m hearing?) which adds a layer of sonic interest. Vocals are, sadly, of the Cookie Monster variety, and thoroughly indecipherable. If the lyric sheet is anything to go by, these fellows seem pained by the economic downturn in the country’s rural breadbasket. Fair enough.


The four tracks here, named simply “One” through “Four”, seem to be thematically linked, but it’s a tough to tell. This is no EP; taken together, these four songs top 44 minutes, so you’re in for a genuine album’s worth of pummeling. The guitars do the bulk of the heavy lifting, and while there is nothing particularly new here, the fretwork is competent enough to get the job done. Unfortunately, the solos are surprisingly tame. The songs themselves, built around soft-loud-soft structures, prevent the listener from being numbed by a non-stop barrage.

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


Tagged as: angel eyes | chicago | metal
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