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Album Reviews : Gods of Eden – Gods of Eden

By on September 28, 2012

Now here is a complicated little package. Despite containing only four songs, Gods of Eden’s self-titled debut EP is likely to produce some extreme reactions in many different directions depending, oddly enough, on your own personal circumstances. For many people this release will be an astounding display of technical insanity, progressive composition and ambitious depth. For others however, it will embody everything that the modern era of the “bedroom producer” has wrought upon metal. The reaction to this EP will likely depend on two questions: firstly, how familiar with drum sequencing and other aspects of “studio magic” are you? Secondly, have you seen this band live? Let’s investigate.

First, let’s assume that the answer to both those questions is ‘no’ and you are just a casual music listener with no studio experience or any knowledge of who Gods of Eden are. In that case it might be prudent for you to pack a spare face because your current one is likely to be melted away in short order. The entire EP is a barrage of shredding madness, though fortunately tempered by a mix of acoustic and classical pieces as well the occasional strings break. Layered through all the songs are some fairly prominent synths, and electronic samples which give the music a very deep feel, though it pushes things very close to the point of becoming too chaotic. Fortunately however it is sufficiently restrained and manages to maintain a semblance of clarity despite the level of complexity and the density of the instruments. The vocals are well-suited to the music containing a mix of chaotic growls and screams, similar perhaps to an amalgam of Dez Fafara (Devildriver) and Greg Puciato (The Dillinger Escape Plan), and surprisingly warm clean vocals that manage to convey a much-needed dose of simple melodic refrain through the chaos raging behind. For fans of progressive technical metal, this really is a stunner and also manages to stand out with quite a distinguishable sound.

Now, let’s assume that you, the listener, are a drummer or you have spent some time in a recording studio or you otherwise fulfil the first criterion listed above. In this case your enjoyment of the release might be tempered by a few things. First of all the drums on this album are programmed, which in itself is not necessarily a problem, but they are really obviously programmed. The metal community has varying views on the use of programmed drums; some say it is an aberration whereas some allow it as a necessary (read: affordable) evil. What everyone is likely to agree on however is that if you are going to program drums you should at least put a bit of effort into making them sound halfway decent. If every kid with access to a drum sequencer is just going to take the default drum sound and plug away then we are set for a bleakly homogenous future for metal. Sadly, this is exactly what the drums on Gods of Eden sound like and for those that know what to listen for it is likely to be quite annoying. It is disappointing that the creativity that permeates the release otherwise does not manage to extend to the drums sounds.

Finally, let’s consider whether you have seen Gods of Eden live. Now, you cry, that’s not fair: this is an album review, not a live review. This is true, but there is a relevant connection between the two. If you were thoroughly impressed the quality of musicianship on the release and how tight the music is then you may sadly be disappointed when you see what happens when they try to pull it off live. That off course takes nothing away from the merits of the EP but it does expound upon a theme that we touched on regarding the drums: something about this EP just smacks of fake. Whether it is programming unrealistic drums or taking ten thousand takes to record each guitar part or any other form of “studio magic” there is something there that just feels against the spirit of (metal) music. Again, this may not affect how you choose to enjoy the music itself, but many choose to steer clear of any music that is so obviously unrealistic. For better or worse there are those that like to be able to feel the humans behind the music and it is not hard to be concerned by the prospect of a future where that is hard to find.

So in short we have an EP that will provoke some strong reactions, though what those reactions are may be highly variable. There are those who shout Gods of Eden from the mountain tops, proclaiming the next big thing in tech/prog metal, and those people are not doing so without justification- the music is insane. There will be others again that prefer a little more humanity and realism in music, and those people are not misplaced in their judgment either.

 

Band: Gods of Eden
Album: Gods of Eden
Year: 2012
Origin: Sydney, Australia
Genre: Progressive/technical metal
Label: Independent/Welkin Entertainment
https://www.facebook.com/godsofeden

Track List:
1. Gods of Eden
2. Shiva’s Dream
3. First Contact
4. Harvesting the Slave Race

About

Sam Maher is Metal Obsession's resident prog reviewer. He only likes songs that are at least 15 minutes long, contain 4 guitar solos and can only be described with a genre that is at least six words long. He also plays guitar for Sydney-based groovy melodic progressive technical death metal band Apparitions of Null.