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Bleeding – Universe 25

Bleeding
Universe 25
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 21 October 2022, 6:33 AM

From Bandcamp, “The concept behind "Universe 25" is dealing with the famous/infamous behavioral experiment of the same name, conducted by scientist John B. Calhoun. Though split up in 14 pieces, the album should be digested as a whole, a sonic journey to the realms of behavioral degradation and the question, how much of a mouse is in a man. Is the experiment from back then still relevant for us today?” “Opening” and “Universe” are two short songs that set the mood. The first features a short jaunt of symphonic elements, while the second is more of an actual song. The experiment showed (in rodents and in the 70’s) that personal space was essential to survival. “Once it Began” has some heavy guitar accents and clean vocals. I hate to say it, but the cleans are a bit pitchy, and the sound has an amateur quality to it. From there, the album features a similar pattern…short instrumentals that break up the longer songs. The instrumentals are quite well done.

“Little Creatures” features vocals that are both pitchy and don’t connect with the key of the music. Only a few tracks in, and they are already grating on me. It’s almost too painful to bear. Again, the instrumental passages are solid. What the band needs work on are the composition of the vocals. “The Cure” is a slower and darker song, again with awful vocals. They have no emotion, no inflection, and the disconnect with the music is much more noticeable. This is going to be a long and hard listening experience for me. “Out of Pathology Comes Progress” is a heavier song with awful vocals once again. The guitar solo is decent but he also sounds like he is having trouble with his fingers keeping up with what is in his head. “Phase C: Stagnation/The Beautiful Ones” opens with some promise. But again, whatever promise there may have been is dashed by the awful vocals. At this point, I just want to throw in the towel, but I will finish the review.

“Death²” might be the best song on the album, opening with tense tones and some solid leads. But, the vocals and odd chord progressions ruin it before too long. The bass work is decent, however. “Another Killing” is the pendulant long song on the album. I know they are going somewhere with this song, but the question is, where? The vocals totally ruin it for me. “Come to the Universe” closes the album; a short, two-minute closer. The smooth, acoustical guitars is a nice sound. This was an ambitious effort that for me fell way short of the mark. Although there are some nice Progressive moments on the album, many of the riffs are just too simple and there is little experimentation. The vocals are by far the worst part of the band and album. There is a lot they need to do to fix them…the delivery, the key, the pitch, I could go on and on. The music lacks dynamism and punch, and the story is underdeveloped in the music. I can find very little to champion here, save for some of the member’s prowess at times.

Songwriting: 1
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 1
Production: 7

1 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Opening
2. Universe 1
3. Once it Began
4. Phase A: Social Adjustment
5. Little Creatures
6. Phase B: Rapid Growth
7. The Cure
8. Only the Architects
9. Out of Pathology Comes Progress
10. Phase C: Stagnation/The Beautiful Ones
11. Death²
12. Phase D: Death Phase
13. Another Killing
14. Come to the Universe
Lineup:
Marc Nickel – Guitars, Bass
Jörg von der Fecht – Guitars, Bass, Programming
Haye Graf – Vocals, Keyboards
Heiko Spaarmann – Bass
Andreas Tegeler – Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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