Thursday, December 1, 2016

Album Review: Hevidence - Nobody's Fault

One of the more under-appreciated bands of the power/prog scene is DGM. They bubble below the surface of bands like Symphony X, but they are often just as good. In fact, the record they released this year is one of the better that genre had to offer. Their former guitar player has been busy since leaving the band. Hevidence is the newest incarnation of his new band, and aims to throw a bit more rock into the mix, as opposed to the cold technicality his former mates are frequenting. Questionable name aside, what do we get from the music?

"Dig In The Night" stars off the record in Yngwie Malmsteen fashion, with blazing arpeggios that go by in such a blur it's hard to know what you've just heard. They don't necessarily fit in with the rock song that comes after, nor do the guitar runs that pop up here and there in the background. It's hard to meld head-spinning guitar playing with concise songwriting, which pops up on this occasion. Even Yngwie has never figured out how to do it. Four chord songs and mile-a-minute solos just don't fit together, no matter how many times he's written the same song.

Back to Hevidence, though. Like a lot of bands, they fall into the category of talented in all but the most important way. There is clearly a lot of instrumental ability on display, as the guitar work has enough solos and technique to put rudimentary players like myself to shame. The problem, though, is that it comes in the context of a record with little to offer in the way of songs. The songwriting on this album is trying to be a hybrid of styles, with an eye towards the melodic metal of the 80s, but the melodies here are bland and forgettable. Coupled with a mix that puts the vocals too far in the background to be understood all the time, and you get a record that is about as lackluster as the "Sin City" clip-art cover.

There's an amateurish quality to the record that I can't quite put my finger on. This just doesn't sound the like polished finished product of a band that is ready to release records on a real label. The thought I keep having is that it sounds like what a cover band would be producing when they first decide to start writing original material. There are little hints of the music they learned to play, but no inspiration to create anything of their own.

If the band loves what they've done here, more power to them. I'm not going to say they're wrong to be happy as artists, but I can say that I'm not happy as a listener. This album doesn't live up to the standards that I expect of anything, even self-produced and released albums. It's just there.

No comments:

Post a Comment