|El Soter - Appletree Of Discord
10 April 2008
03. The Hail
04. Freak Show
05. Not Coming Back
07. Blaming The Moon
08. Girl In Pink, For Example
09. Chaos Based Directions
10. To The North
El Soter's debut, Appletree Of Discord, is one of those albums that show a lot of promise for the band, without actually being a particular masterpiece in their own right. Although El Soter is a brand new band, the man behind it, Blaž Erzetic, has already released three records prior to this one, under the moniker Amateur God. I haven't heard those previous albums so I cannot really deliberate on what sort of an improvement El Soter might or might not be over them; however, the consensus being that Appletree Of Discord is different enough to warrant a name-change, evaluating it on its own merits seems fitting enough.
Although a classification of Metal / Electronica / Classical came in the promo material attached to the album, El Soter is in fact a slightly more metallic darkwave band, reminding me particularly of A Covenant Of Thorns in terms of general sound and mood. Those familiar with the sound will know what I'm talking about - a fairly unnatural sounding drum machine accompanied by amorphous, noisy guitar washes, danceable bass lines and a forlorn, quiet, baritone vocal delivery. Industrial and metal elements are also present here and add much needed dynamics to the overall sound. Sadly, this is also where my issues with this release start. Some keyboard passages and more notably, many samples, totally break the depressing, 'given-up-on-life' vibe of this release. Having samples of a woman reciting poetry, jumpy keyboard passages and vocoder vocals might fit in with the concept of the album; however, these elements dilute the cold, unforgiving sound that the band is otherwise very good at. One need only listen to some of the more subtle songs on this album - "The Hail", "Sum" and "Chaos Based Directions" all offer a very successfully realized soundtrack to one's suicide.
Appletree Of Discord is therefore an album with some excellent tracks that are nevertheless mired by the presence of some samples and production techniques that dilute the experience as a whole. It might sound out of place with as depressing a band as this; however, I see a bright future for Blaž Erzetic, providing that his further exploits will be more focused and homogeneous.
Written on 07.07.2008 by
With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. Privately not actually an asshole, he lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he runs his small graphic and web design business.