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Audiotopsy - The Real Now

Audiotopsy
The Real Now
by Dave Nowels at 25 November 2018, 6:57 AM

AUDIOTOPSY’s “The Real Now” is quite intriguing for a couple of reasons. Mostly because it’s a side band for MUDVAYNE’s Greg Tribbett and Matt McDonough, but also SKRAPE’s Billy Keeton and Perry Stern. Even on paper, this should be enough to elicit a craving from even the most casual fans of Modern Metal. Tribbett has indicated that the album’s material covers a broad cross section of everyday life. Addiction, depression and inevitable death are all subjects boldly tackled within the collaborative effort that became “The Real Now”.

“Supergroups”, bands comprised of members hailing from already established bands are a hit or miss proposition. Most fail somewhat miserably, (think DAMNOCRACY or METHODS OF MAYHEM) though occasionally they capture magic. (As in, TEMPLE OF THE DOG, AUDIOSLAVE or MAD SEASON) So, which do we have here? A little of both. The album opens strong enough with the chugging build of “War”. Yet nearly immediately I’m struck by how overly produced the vocals are. Keeton’s vocals as a whole are superb. But Dave Fortman’s production of the vocals eliminates any grittiness and edge that would have really taken the song to another level. It’s almost as if the vocals are distanced from the music itself. There’s no cohesion, and that’s a damn shame, because I really liked the song overall.


Next up is “Hologram” which starts disappointedly “clunky” and clumsily. Thankfully, it manages to ultimately find it’s groove, but it still ranks as one of my least liked tracks. Like it’s predecessor, “Panic On The Airwaves” utilizes some uncommon nice harmonies to accentuate the darker force of the song. Fortunately one “Panic..” the band manages to accomplish this far more effectively. I found “Fade Away” to easily be one the strongest tracks on the album, and it’s a head scratcher that It wasn’t the lead single. Instead, the band (or record label) went with “What I Am”, which only effectively manages to capture every tired Modern Metal cliché. A real shame.

“Hurt Down” proceeds “What I Am” and was a real change of pace. Surprising really. Lyrically “Hurt Down” might contain the most personal expressions within “The Real Now”, and along with “Fade Away”, it’s a definite standout among the other tracks. The other songs themselves aren’t terrible. Far from it, but just like the album as a whole, it fails to live up to the lofty expectations one would want from a band with their obvious pedigrees. Other than “Hurt Down” and “Fade Away”, I just never connected with the coexistent energy the band was obviously hoping to establish with their listeners. Maybe it’s just the production’s bad taste lingering, but after the sonic disappointment of “War”, I just couldn’t coalesce with most of the album.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 5
Memorability: 5
Production: 5

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. War
2. Hologram
3. Panic On The Airwaves
4. Fade Away
5. Hurt Down
6. What I Am
7. If Only
8. A Death Benefit
Lineup:
Greg Tribbett – Guitar
Matt McDonough – Drums
Billy Keeton – Vocals
Perry Stern – Bass
Record Label: Megaforce Records
     


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Edited 15 December 2018
 

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