Rating:
7.6
Menace - Impact Velocity
10 March 2014


01. I Live With Your Ghost
02. Painted Rust
03. Multiple Clarity
04. To the Marrow
05. I Won't See the Sun
06. Drowning in Density
07. Positron
08. Everything and Nothing
09. Within Context
10. Malicious Code
11. Impact Velocity
12. Seamless Integration


For those familiar with Napalm Death, Mitch Harris is a man who needs no introduction for fans of the band or listeners of grindcore at large, however his new endeavour in project Menace does need some introducing. A catchy progressive metal with hard rock song structures is what you'll find in the debut album Impact Velocity, made up of twelve tracks with a captivating "cyber" thematic incentive.

If you come into this expecting a full-on grind record you're going to be completely surprised. Much less abrasive, much more melodic, this album is a significant departure from what one would expect of Harris. Though that's not to say that what is on display here lacks any purposeful punch, quite the opposite in fact, as it's still the same energy driven metal that Harris is known for, only grind or death metal aren't the operative elements and the pace of delivery is eased and slowed. Tempos are deliberately gradual for the most part, save for segments of the title track for example, allowing for the exploration of a very different sound from the death of Napalm Death within these concise track lengths. Some death metal framework does seem to protrude through the mix of progressive metal and rock at times, occasionally offering up more obvious instances of Harris' past work, but generally the death influence is very slight to none and worked in beneath the melodic and progressive style on exhibition.

The bass of bandmate Shane Embury and Dragonforce's Fred Leclercq are never subservient behind the leads but provide a seamless strength to the rhythm section. The production is excellent and things sound crisp and clear, including the imposing percussion, swirling symphonics and the unsaturated synthy touch which is used to establish some atmosphere around the accessible, memorable and generally varied approach to song writing.

Vocally this album is very interesting indeed, somewhat reminiscent of Voivod's Denis Belanger in tunes such as the blasting title track, the clean style offered by Harris himself is one of the album's most memorable aspects. His lines often fit comfortably within the mix amongst the whirring of the more industrially inclined tracks such as "To The Marrow" or "Seamless Integration" and all manner of futuristic atmospheric effects. With such inclinations in mind Devin Townsend does become something of a comparison while listening to Impact Velocity, which overall though isn't quite as upbeat nor is it thrash based as the likes of Voivod although it does go for relatable themes and a spacey feel. All the additional layering involved in this which bombards the mainstay consistency of the guitar work is never invasive and never breaches the flow of things, each track moving on to the next and managing to be distinctive enough to leave their mark, the shortest cut "I Won't See The Sun" being the most direct in this regard.

Structurally this album appears like something Harris is familiar with working in, stylistically though it's something else entirely, and guarantees some fresh and memorable progressive metal.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Band profile: Menace
Album: Impact Velocity


 



Written on 13.04.2014 by
R'Vannith
R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.
More reviews by R'Vannith ››



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psykometal - 13.04.2014 at 17:09  
This reads very interestingly. Will have to get this before I leave home again. The idea of a non-bassist oriented band employing 2 bassists is intriguing for sure, especially knowing the capabilities of them. And I'm always down for a musical endeavor that includes Derek Roddy, the man is a wonderful drummer; I would have actually given new Dream Theater a listen and a chance if they had chosen him (but then again, if they had chosen him the new DT album might have been the first stain in his career ).

Certainly looking forward to hearing this.
!J.O.O.E.! - 13.04.2014 at 17:10  
I've heard I Live With Your Ghost and it's surprisingly fun, though not my usual kind of thing. I might check out the whole thing at some point.
psykometal - 13.04.2014 at 18:18  
Yea, I just checked that song out on YouTube. I quite like it. The video is pretty neat too.

Just got it as of a few minutes ago, so going to listen to that later today while my kid is napping so I don't have to worry about him interrupting.
Ag Fox - 13.04.2014 at 19:51  
Pretty interesting. I'll check them out
BloodTears - 13.04.2014 at 21:04  
Memorable progressive metal? I'm in!
deadone - 14.04.2014 at 07:23  
This sounds really intriguing! I'm definitely going to have to check it out.

Thanks for the review.

EDIT: And upon hearing I Live With Your Ghost and Painted Rust, it's not bad but I don't like Mitch's vocals at all. Too indie rock sounding for my liking.
Ivor - 15.04.2014 at 10:33  
Intriguing review, the first song "I Live With Your Ghost" is pretty interesting one. The rest of the album? Frankly quite boring. Lacks in pace and variety, monotony kills it.

I.

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