Subrosa - No Help For The Mighty Ones review
|Album:||No Help For The Mighty Ones|
|Release date:||March 2011|
01. Borrowed Time, Borrowed Eyes
02. Beneath The Crown
04. The Inheritance
05. Attack On Golden Mountain
07. House Carpenter
08. Dark Country
Gaze in wonder at one of Profound Lore's recent marvels.
Salt Lake City's SubRosa, skillfully avoiding the pitfalls of machismo sludge music, conjure a sound that would likely suit the female vocal aficionado as much as it would the hardened metaller. In fact one could easily recommend listening to it that way as this isn't like most ardent heavy sludge releases, the heaviness being largely replaced with an often psychedelic, dirging quality. The fuzzy guitars take a backseat (unusual for a sludge band) and are the first constituent in a sublime three-way as the grounding foundation between the off-kilter singing (and sparely used growling) and (dis)harmonies in a tug of war with the discordant violin. The real brilliance of every song, though, is the reward that awaits at the end of each. A build up, sometimes intentional repetition, before the component elements meet in crescendo that brings the violin to the foreground in a euphoric and transcendental manner. For this reason approaching SubRosa on a riff basis, which one might often do in the genre, isn't recommended.
Fortunately the single flaw of No Help For The Mighty Ones can be succinctly fingered and quarantined: "House Carpenter" - SubRosa's take on the popular Americanised version on the English ballad "The Daemon Lover" which is quite frankly out of place here, the lack of instrumentation making the harmonies sound flat and awkward. Just skip it.
In a sadly frequent number of cases the inclusion of the female vocal in the more extreme end of metal is typically employed for mere novelty effect (if not for the "crumpet" effect), occasionally adding another shade to the proceedings where it might. Not only do the three-fifths female outfit SubRosa manage, without effort, to waylay this unfortunate paradigm, they succeed in turning the sludge genre on its head and make the unconventional female vocal (think Bloody Panda rather than Nightwish) and the jarring violin (think A Forest Of Stars rather than Apocalyptica) its prime catalyst, creating a distinct and unusual approach to the sound. Both offbeat and dissonant whilst substantially heavy and maintaining itself within set margins (but not without a woman's touch) this is quite possibly the album of the year because of it.
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