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Barreleye - Insidious Siren

Insidious Siren
by Chris Hawkins at 27 August 2018, 3:39 PM

BARRELEYE are a Metalcore band formed in Berlin in 2012, after the rest of the world had already gotten over KILLSWITCH ENGAGE.  “Insidious Siren” is the band’s second EP, and they had one full-length prior to this released in 2015 named “Urged to Fall”.  Maybe Berlin was not as inundated with Metalcore as we were here in the States because it’s over-abundance 15 years ago or so is still negatively impacting the scene if only by virtue of its existence.  Just because this isn’t a favorite sub-genre of Metal in my personal taste, does not mean there are not any good parts to the music whatsoever.  The problem is the wait between the good parts and what it’s filled with.

When the album opens with “Cosmic Downfall,” it is hard to believe so much could be going on at once.  One first questions where this is really going because with regard to the vocals, it seems it could be almost Alternative or Indie Rock that the band is flirting with.  Perhaps one element serving a lot of the confusion in the sound is the tug and pull between Metal and Fluff present within.  Older guys made fun of the hair bands, and thus those of us who have lived through the past two decades have a similar opposition when it comes to Metalcore.  At this point, if there’s a “core” at the end, except for Hardcore, the music is suspect and for a very many different reasons is this so, ones beyond the scope of this article, certainly.  A lot is going on between the two guitar players and lead and backing/supplemental vocal tracks in this first song.  When the chorus arrives, one feels trapped in an overcrowded car and now subjected to clean vocals that border on whiny-sounding, a fate far worse than the windows up and the garage door closed.  Some of the rhythmic ideas are not devoid of possibility, but this seems to be a style thus far that is reluctant to settle into anything for too long.

The fourth and final track, “Insidious Siren III – Long Live the Tyrant” is definitely the most aggressive song on the album.  Many of the riffs and rhythmic ideas are reminiscent of GOD FORBID.  Once again, though, the vocals attempt to ruin anything positive established as they pour their saccharine drivel over everything. To the detriment of any planned heaviness, the guitars are much too compressed.  This is to the point of squashing the life out of riffs and rhythms along the way.  At the end of the day, the listener is left wondering why it is their fate to be punished so, never to receive their 20 minutes back. In a scene that has something for everyone, rest assured that hope is not lost after realizing the fallacy in this band.  As for BARRELEYE, I can think of nothing to be of greater benefit than a strong self-evaluation and an inventory of assets before moving forward.  Doing so would do the most amount of help in ending the tug of war between the trendy Alt-like vocals and the rhythmic-heavy riffs.  Determining the band’s direction seems to be the band’s next major step in the attempt toward anything bordering on compelling.  In an industry like today’s, the problem is that the band may lose its moment for greatness early on and BARRELEYE are already six years in.

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 4
Memorability: 4
Production: 5

2 Star Rating

1. Cosmic Downfalll
2. Insidious Siren I - Overcome
3. Insidious Siren II – The Tyrant is Dead
4. Insidious Siren III – Long Live the Tyrant
Danilo Garbe – Guitars
Szymon Lesniewski - Bass
Christopher Witte – Guitars
Dmitry Frolov– Drums
David Nelband – Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 23 March 2023

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