Saturday, October 25, 2008

Review: Held Under - The Catastrophe of Creation (2006)

Held Under [ MySpace ]
The Catastrophe of Creation

New York's Held Under were a metalcore band from Albany that formed in 2000 and released a handful of albums (2 demos and 2 full-lengths) before closing up shop in 2007. The Catastrophe of Creation  is the last album released by the band and, although consisting mostly of the run-of-the-mill drivel found on practically all albums of this genre, the disc does have a few points of originality to offer.

Frontman Jeff Andrews spews the lyrics forth in metalcore-conforming style, alternating between raspy shrieks, guttural growls, and cleanly sung choruses. He differs from most, however, when he sings cleanly. Unlike the nasal, whining approach most *-core vocalists take, Andrews has a voice that reminds me of early thrash frontmen like James Hetfield and Joey Belladonna. Unfortunately, Andrews uses this style sparingly. "The Endless Hours" and "Left With The Wreckage" both stand out due to an above average use of clean vocals. Musically, The Catastrophe of Creation has all you would expect from an album of this genre - copious breakdowns, bottom-tuned riffs, and frantic but brief solos. Rarely deviating from this formula, though, the disc quickly becomes monotonous. Guitarists Dave Matthews and Dave Seacord are technically proficient, delivering some razor-sharp licks and intricate riffs, but in the end they fall victim to the limitations inherent in any *-core formula.

The Catastrophe of Creation is not an album that appeals to me because of my personal tastes in metal. While it may be of a bit more interest to metalcore fans than the average genre album, in the end it fails to significantly rise above others in this overcrowded scene. After the breakup in 2007, Jeff Andrews and Dave Matthews went on to form a new project called Dryheeve.

Track Listing
1 Tears Fell Into Ashes 4:09
2 The Endless Hours 4:31
3 Force Fed Cancer 6:33
4 Sleepwalker 4:55
5 Inherit The Loss 6:10
6 Collective Degeneration 3:24
7 Left With The Wreckage 4:17
8 Blood Must Turn To Black 7:40
9 Feeling The Scab 4:16
10 Waste Of Life 8:26
Total Runtime 54:21

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