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ACT - World's A Stage

World's A Stage
by Mary Orren-Spunelli at 29 July 2013, 1:57 PM

Sometimes, I think I should not read the bios/press sheet that accompanies these releases before I listen to them. When you read a bio/press sheet that compares a band to other bands, then you automatically go into it, listening for those comparisons. Often times, you will find those comparisons. If you don’t go in with the pre-programmed mindset however, you might hear something else. So, if there is one thing I have learned from this Turkish Metal band called ACT, it is to wait until after I listen to a band before reading the bio. It sometimes just does more harm than good.

For example, the press sheet for ACT, compares them to MESHUGGAH, LAMB OF GOD and DARK TRANQUILLITY. Well, to be truthful, out of those three bands, I only really like DARK TRANQUILLITY. So, because I am not really a fan of the other two bands, I was not too excited about the undertaking of this review (and was hoping that the comparison to DARK TRANQUILLITY was the most accurate one). It turns out that musically, it is. The opening track, “The Solution”, wastes no time striking out with some magnificent heavy riffing. ACT is obviously comprised of some authentically skilled musicians who sound comfortable and set in the style they play. I do really like the music. Vocally…it’s not terrible, but also not unique by any means.

ACT is, without a doubt, heavy-driven and brutal. Fans of the aforementioned bands most likely will appreciate this. The comparisons made in the press sheet are accurate. Would I think so if I hadn’t read it beforehand? I don’t know. Maybe. But I might have been more apt to notice other things as well. I was expecting to really dislike this CD, so I am glad to say that I was, mostly pleasantly surprised. However, at the same time, I also found this somewhat exhausting to listen to. Maybe I am getting too old for the tireless aggression of some of these hate-fueled bands. But I found it difficult to focus at times throughout this CD and found myself feeling a little bored here and there (and thinking 11 tracks may be too much). I don’t hate this CD. Not at all.  I liked it much better than I expected to. Yet, it didn’t exactly grab me by my nipples either.

“Fratricidal Quarrel” is one of the tracks that actually stands out a bit. It has a different sound to it, in particular at the beginning where it features a brief bit of slower and cleaner vocals accompanied by impressive bass and drum work. Soon, the expected aggressive assault comes forth with some super explosive guitar riffs and drums. I genuinely enjoyed this track above all. If they could establish some of the originality they displayed in this song, they would have the potential to ultimately branch out and be free from the steady comparisons.  ACT is talented and proficient at what they do, however, they fail to remain real memorable. They need to do something to make a sound more their very own
ACT is a band that has a good sense of melody, which is what really saves them from being mundane and getting a negative review. Any band that can be as savagely harsh as ACT and yet remain melodic all at once deserves credit. After a couple more listens, this CD did manage to grow on me even more. So, if you are not instantly impressed, give it at least a second try.  I do think Act is headed in the right direction and will learn to cultivate their own sound in time. I expect to be hearing a lot more from them over time.   

3 Star Rating

1. The Solution
2. Walking on the Path
3. Trapped Nation
4. No Way
5. Fratricidal Quarrel
6. Civil Clash
7. You Owe Us Blood
8. Sanguine
9. It Makes You Right
10. But I Stare
11. The Shattered
Kaan Dincer - Vocals
Harun Icli - Guitar
Umut Icli - Guitar
Emin Koklu - Bass
Kemal Payzin - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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