Thursday, July 14, 2005

Review: Mode - The Deafening Moment of Truth (2004)

The Deafening Moment of Truth

The trio from Oklahoma City known as Mode  leave no questions as to what they are all about. Formed in 2001, this anarchist punk/groove metal outfit has gigged heavily in their local area and released a debut full-length, The Deafening Moment of Truth. Embracing an anti-establishment message in their lyrics, Mode spreads their message like a shotgun blast through highly aggressive riffs and throat-shredding vocals.

Anger and aggression are in no short supply on The Deafening Moment of Truth, from the opening chords of "Leech" to the closing note of "Wigout + Die". Vocalist (and drummer) Rich has an uncommon style that couldn't be a better fit for the band's ideology. With a voice gritty to the point of being painful, he lashes out the lyrics with venom - this is a guy who believes in the words he's singing. Musically, the songs are fairly simple constructs featuring heavy, often distorted riffing and common drum patterns. Things get a bit more interesting on "Revolt", a song with a very catchy groove and some flavorful bass lines. "It's A Lie" follows with some classic guitar licks and an old-school thrash vibe mixed with more modern stop-start riffing. Speaking of old-school thrash, the song "Anthem", my choice for top song on the album, feels like something right out of the Bay Area circa 1985. A heavy dose of doomy riffs and fuzzy licks keep it from sounding cliché. Of course, the classic theme from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly is given an excellent lead guitar rendition on "G.B.D.". The guitar solos are sparse on The Deafening Moment of Truth, but Jody more than makes up for it on this instrumental track. Shawn's bass is discernible throughout the album, but takes prominence on the anarchist anthem "Pig Stomp". He has since left the band, replaced by Andy.

Mode has an identity all their own, something rare among new bands in this day and age. With a little more songwriting experience, I wouldn't be surprised to see them quickly scratch their way up from the underground. The Deafening Moment of Truth is a solid debut and should definitely attract some well-deserved attention to this Oklahoma triple-threat.

Track Listing
1 Leech 2:46
2 Anti 3:54
3 E.O.A. 2:51
4 Revolt 3:29
5 It's A Lie 4:21
6 Anthem 4:38
7 G.B.D. 6:35
8 Pig Stomp 3:16
9 Stallin' 4 Time 5:06
10 Wigout + Die 4:10

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