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Kill the Precedent - Some Version of the Truth

Kill the Precedent
Some Version of the Truth
by Anna Chase at 17 May 2017, 2:24 PM

Industrial will always have a special place in my heart. It’s the genre that first got me into Metal with bands like MINISTRY, MARILYN MANSON, and FEAR FACTORY. I think the mixture of hydraulic whooshes, clanks, and beeps sounds magical when combined with Heavy Metal, and a good Industrial album never fails to pump me up and energize me more than any other genre. KILL THE PRECEDENT, other than having a clever name, is a talented and politically-charged Industrial band that formed in Sacramento, CA in 2006 and released their first full-length album, “Dialogues With the Dead”, in 2013. One standout factor about the group is that they’re far larger than any other band I’ve reviewed so far, at seven people. They have multiple vocalists, as well as their own personal programmer and visuals manager for live shows. Like many Metal artists, KILL THE PRECEDENT is unsurprisingly anti-government and anti-establishment, like I couldn’t have guessed that just by their name. In my experience, angry anarchist bands make some of the best music (hello, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE and MEGADETH) and this factor combined with my love for Industrial Metal had me pretty excited to listen to this album.

“Two Way Mirrors” has a decidedly punk sound. The vocals are impressive in the sheer indignant anger that’s conveyed through them. To be fair, I was expecting a bit more of an Industrial sound from a band that primarily calls themselves Industrial, however, the guitar riffs were catchy, the solo was blasting, and the bass thumped along behind the rest of the instruments in perfect synchronization to their chants of “Call it what you want, call it what you will, GO.” “Lesser of Two Evils”, the next track, was decidedly more industrial. The distorted and creaking drums thudded along with eerie synth-keyboard and the chanting vocals. The Ugly American and Twig’s vocals strongly remind me of Andy LaPlegua from COMBICHRIST, and that’s a great thing. This is a powerful, pump-me-up anthem, and one of my favorites on the entire album. They don’t sacrifice musical talent and skillful solos in the name of Industrial, either.

“Down North” starts off with a hollow drumbeat which blends into distorted guitar and vocal tracks. This song is an incessant power trip of overlapping rhythms, tones, and riffs, a MINISTRY-esque masterpiece which simultaneously confuses and enchants the listener. “Watch What You Think” is undoubtedly another one of my favorites. It rips straight from the beginning with machine-gun drum beats and robotic vocals. The singing conveys pure anger, exactly what I like to see in a good industrial song, and the isolation of the bass creates a choppy, dramatic beat which blends into the catchy chorus perfectly. The insanity of the solo screams “Speed Metal” while the riffs say “Industrial” and the vocals are 100% Punk; an eclectic and intriguing combination which KILL THE PRECEDENT pulls off well.

“Irrational Anthem”, just in the name, brought me back to one of my favorite Industrial songs of all time, MARILYN MANSON’s “Irresponsible Hate Anthem”. That’s where the similarities stop, though. This song is a drum-heavy and eerie chant which relies on dual vocals to build up the track’s depth. The guitars take second place here and almost seem like an afterthought. The point of the song is definitely to protest the establishment and they get their point across. I do wish that they involved the guitar a bit more than a 15-second solo in the middle, however. My first impression of “A Song for Slit Wrists”, just from the title, was “Jesus, someone never outgrew their middle school emo phase.” However, you can’t judge a book by its cover, and this song proves it. The creepy robotic vocals make a comeback, and set an uncomfortable tone which offsets the intense drums. This song is definitely the most powerful and passionate on the album. The Ugly American and Twig’s vocals are a perfect match for each other and the electrifying guitar riffs, and despite the somewhat cliché title, this song showcases the band’s talent for writing music and performing it flawlessly.

The last song, “Dictated Not Read”, is a step down from the rest of the album in tone. It would almost seem like easy listening if it weren’t for the screaming vocals. Personally, I would’ve chosen a different track to end the album with a bang. The muted, simplistic guitar riffs and drums were a bit underwhelming, and though The Ugly American and Twig are strong vocalists, their singing can’t carry an entire song by itself. Overall, however, this album is a refreshing look into modern Industrial Metal, and while I wish that the band had created more of their own tone rather than drawing from other more well-known Industrial acts, their talent can’t be denied. I would easily recommend this album to any Industrial fans who want to hear something other than bands from the rapid boom-and-bust of Industrial Metal in the 90’s.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Two Way Mirrors
2. Lesser of Two Evils
3. Down North
4. Watch What You Think
5. Irrational Anthem
6. A Song for Slit Wrists
7. Dictated Not Read
Lineup:
Jon the Jew- Bass
Sgt. Pepper- Drums
Jay Ello- Guitar
Tapeworm- Guitar/ Programming
Killsbury- Guitar/ Visuals
The Ugly American- Vocals
Twig the Exfoliator- Vocals
Record Label: Minus Head Records
     


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