BAND: LUST OF A DYING BREED
ALBUM: CAT OF NINE TAILS
The song title is an innovative way of foretelling the main thesis of this track which in simple terms is the tale of the end of humanity, the end of the grand play after the decapitation, denouement. The song makes use of blast beats and double bass drumming aspects that are typical to the sub-genre. These aspects, together with the growling, enhance the unsettling dark aura that at times makes you cringe but leaves substantial room for enjoyment.
If you’re expecting full blown, relentless and raw power, then perhaps this is not the track for you. This is perhaps one of the disappointments, or should I say conflicts I have with this track. The melodic riffs are important in the artistic story telling sense. But I don’t believe that it achieves that bombastic impact that I’m hoping the band will take. I have always felt that for these extreme genres of metal, the storytelling plays a supplementary role to the primary focus i.e. the impact on the listener’s sensibilities. I think that from a consumer’s point of view, the lyrical content and whatever means the instruments are styled as accompaniment, doesn’t achieve much. I’m more concerned with and this is being really simplistic but true nevertheless, how the song makes me feel. Energized, pumped and maddened and everything else along that line. The storyline I believe is better enhanced when clean vocals are used, but where guttural growls are the priority you are left with the feeling that the pieces don’t really fit, and you’re disconcerted. Which isn’t such a bad thing if that was what the song was intended to achieve.
Speaking of vocals, Martin Kanja is perhaps one of the most talented and skilful vocalists on Kenyan soil. He has an unrelenting penchant for extremity. He has a way with making the guttural growls pleasantly distinct, gripping and very systematic. The pig squeals are properly mastered and reined in. You only have to listen to ‘Fearless’ and ‘Cat of Nine Tails’ and you’ll end up shaken by the inhales and screams. This vocal variety is something that has been well utilized on these other songs on the EP. It’s a shame that this song doesn’t really exploit that aspect. However I won’t let that detract from the impressive use of guttural growls that I felt were really tenacious and satisfying.
Overall this song gives diversity to the EP and shows enough of what the band is capable of. I love the recording quality which is something I feel I need to continually point out on this review for those of you still stuck up on the false notion that Kenyan Rock music is poorly recorded. Give it a listen and have your say. Do you agree with the review? Also don’t forget to support the band like their Facebook page and listen to their songs on Reverbnation.