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Comatose Rose #5 Review
Comatose Rose #5 Review
Press / Radio - Reviews
Wednesday, 05 February 2003 00:00


Comatose Rose #5 Review


Comatose Rose

Asmodeus X - Wolf Age

Review by chris parasyte

When most people think of Houston, Texas, the term "gothic and industrial Hotbed" doesn't readily spring to mind. Despite that fact, the city has given birth to the industrial powerhouse known as Asmodeus X. Blending metal guitars, driving percussion tracks, intricate acoustics and scathing synthesizer work, this Texan trio's new album Wolf Age is an industrial tour-de-force that is not to be missed.

The musical style of much of the album is vaguely reminiscent of Velvet Acid Christ's Calling Ov The Dead album, with a good dose of Joy Division tossed into the mix. Many of the songs are structured around well thought out bass lines, reinforced by a framework of intelligently constructed musical exploration. Paul Fredric's vocal style is, at many points throughout the album, heavily influenced by the likes of Ian Curtis and David Bowie.

The best song on the CD is easily Wolf in the Sky which is also featured in the Covert Creative Group film Shut Eye (the video for the song can be found on the film's DVD release). The song has a very 70's era Bowie or Pink Floyd feel to it - spacey and dreamlike, light and easy to enjoy, yet layered with rich instrumentation, meaningful lyrics and just the right amount of psychedelics. On the following song, Asmodeus X displays evidence of their wide range of musical ability and influence, as the heavy metal thrillride that is Black Forest seeks to punish the listener's eardrums with driving guitars and growling vocals that would give Rust in Peace era Megadeth a run for their money.

Another highlight of the album is the band? rendition of Point Me in the Direction of Albuquerque - originally recorded by The Partridge Family. It's one of those times when you're not sure whether to laugh because of the fact that an industrial band is covering such an unlikely song, or just sit back and enjoy the ride because they're doing such a fucking amazing job on it.

Don't get me wrong - the whole album is not a masterpiece. Songs like Melting and MuZ, which sound like they were built around push-button preset 303 arpeggiations, sound outdated and weak on an album that is otherwise filled with inventive tracks. The fact that Melting was the first (and, as I thankfully discovered, also the weakest) song on the CD didn't give me a very hopeful idea of what the album was going to be like. If nothing else, it taught me to never rely too heavily on first impressions.

My only real complaint with the album was that the vocal tracks were quieter in the mix than they could've been on a number of tracks, and as a result were a little drowned out by the music in places. Still, it's not quite to the point where the listener has to strain to make out the vocals, and doesn't really detract from the listening experience.