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Margin of Existence – The Road to Despair

Margin of Existence
The Road to Despair
by Dave “That Metal Guy” Campbell at 09 September 2014, 10:35 PM

MARGIN OF EXISTENCE is a Melodic Death Metal band from Greece, formed in 2006.  The band set out to make their own sound, trying to combine aggression and melody, as influenced by such acts as AT THE GATES, IN FLAMES, THE HAUNTED and NIGHTRAGE.  This is their first full-length album, and contains ten tracks.  “Isolation” is the first track here.  It’s a slower, grinding number, with twin lead guitars introducing the harmonies.  The main riff and vocals are very much in line with the genre.  Vocally, Gorge has a lower range Death growl style.  They make nice use of lead guitar breaks here and there.  “Human Recycle” is swifter song where the blueprint is fairly similar, once again making use of guitar harmonies.  Some keys might make nice accents here, but more on that later.  The title track has a nifty little melody imbedded in the main riff during the verses, but I think it is overshadowed by the more brutal and aggressive path of the rest of the instruments.  “Middle Irony” promises a little more melody, and a bit of a stronger chorus.  There is some nice, varied drum fills here as well, which add some spice to the mix.  The opening to “The Road to Despair” could have been extended a little longer to create some more suspense and some variegate to the sound so far.  But it settles too quickly into a similar key and meter as the earlier tracks.

“Altera Pars” however is a well-done instrumental.  The cadre of different sounds here tells me that the band has a wide grasp of harmonies, which is what I am longing for in the traditional tracks with vocals.  “Under the Shadows” has an opening riff that chugs like an IN FLAMES song.   Add the twin guitar interlude after the verse and this could be a song on any one of their albums.  The influence they noted equates directly here in this track.  “Infinite” carries on in this regard, with a nice segue between the opening riff and the structure in the verses.  “Screams of Life” has an interesting riff that builds in a four note structure, creating a welcomed feeling of anticipation.  It’s amazing how something so little can move the listener in a certain direction.  The chorus is strong here too.  Closing the album is the track “A Challenge Invitation.”  A steady double bass gives way to an aggressive and swift pace.  Well placed pig squeals add some accents.  Overall I feel there are some strong songs here, and the band’s musicianship is noted.  I think the album just suffers from being too close to the Death side of the genre and not close enough to the melodic side, for me.  Most of the songs are done in the low E chord with the only variation coming from occasional guitar harmonies.  It creates a solid blueprint for the band to follow and aspire, but doesn’t allow for enough variation to keep it unique.  Still, as this is their first album, I do believe that they have something to follow for the future.
 

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Isolation
2. Human Recycle
3. Margin of Existence
4. Middle Irony
5. The Road to Despair
6. Altera Pars
7. Under the Shadow
8. Infinite
9. Screams of Life
10. A Challenge Invitation
Lineup:
Gorge Triantaffillou – Vocals
Alexandros Bondroit – Guitars
Apostolos Touloupakis – Bass & Backing Vocals
Alexandros Envoliadis – Drums
Record Label: Casket Music Records
     


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