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Acts Of Tragedy – Left With Nothing

Acts Of Tragedy
Left With Nothing
by Jose MaCall at 19 July 2017, 8:25 AM

Metal comes in several different varieties. All types of musical elements come together to form a solid multi-layered sandwich of sound that is enjoyably ingested by the listener. Be it roast beef-like meaty riffs, crunchy potato chip-like basslines, or a sweet cross-over medley like blackened death or peanut butter and jelly. Several elements can come together to create something wonderful. Sometimes a questionable set of ingredients can create something that’s questionable on paper. One time I ate a sandwich that had strawberry jam, cream cheese AND ham in it. Would I have another one again? Probably not, but was it good? It wasn’t bad. That’s how I would describe “Left With Nothing” by ACTS OF TRAGEDY, does a lot of clean singing belong with Death Metal growls and Deathcore screeches? Can you have something intensely heavy and brutal but also with a softer edge to it? Once again, sure I ate it, but did I hate it? I guess not? What time is lunch?

Let’s get the facts and stuff here. We’ve got a solidly produced piece of art here. There are highs, there are lows, and everything sounds great. The rhythm section kills it. The drumming is clean, tight and technically solid. The bass pops and booms wonderfully along to what are clearly complex songs. This is melodically and technically a really good album. I loved the leads and the riffs. The second song “Melting Wax” reminded me of something ICED EARTH would have written but taken to a more extreme level. Each track is sliced up into several sections where catchy choruses and impressive solos are placed on top of each other. It’s all dressed up with what may be the make or break for some people. Much like putting too much mayo on a BLT, we have the introduction of clean vocals.

Every song on the album features a healthy dousing of clean singy-songy vocals. Like a power ballad or a serenade, you’re just pummeled with a breaking of what is otherwise fairly solid heavy music. The kids with the skinny jeans need something to listen to so I guess this is what’s hip. An old troglodytic fossil monster like myself gets lost in all the “–core” genres these days. It’s taking the peanut butter and jelly formula of melody and brutality and adding in vocals that sound Nu-Metal-ish at times (a Nu-tella, if you will). I guess if it’s ok for bands like OPETH to be touted so highly for putting in complicated playing with clean soft vocals then I can’t knock ACTS OF TRAGEDY for it either.

While I can’t blame them for a soft stuff, I can comment on the song “Oaks” which is mostly a gentle acoustic song that features all the singing you can handle. Someone get this guy an Idol audition! I feel like I’ve driven this home enough repeatedly the vocals are like so many gentle crooners on the FM dial. It’s a matter of taste, however, I think there is something to be said for even a fan of the most evil, sinister Death Metal to show an appreciation for solid musicianship. We let KING DIAMOND get away with falsettos, so this is a walk-through middle-decibel Avenue (you know, it’s in the Sound district).

It may be a little strange, but it’s also not terrible. If you like Deathcore and Metalcore, I say check this. If you dig stuff that’s more melodic but features a fair share of cleans (KEKAL, NIGHTRAGE) then check this out. It’s a little lacking in pure throat-biting aggression but it also features some really great non-standard song writing with lots of higher harmonies that flow back to heaviness. My final verdict is that this is kind of like a sandwich that you enjoy eating but it’s not quite like it and that’s a wrap.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 10

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Under The Stone
2. Melting Wax
3. The Worst Has Yet To Come
4. The Man Of The Crowd Part I
5. Smoke Sculptures And Fog Canvas
6. The Man Of The Crowd Part II
7. Incomplete
8. Nothing
9. Vice
10. Oaks 
Lineup:
Alessandro Castellano - Drums
Andrea Orrù - Vocals
Lorenzo Meli - Bass
Paolo Mulas - Guitar
Gabriele Murgia - Guitar & Backing Vocals
Record Label: Memorial Records
     


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Edited 27 October 2021
 

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