The Sullen Route - Apocalyclinic review


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Band: The Sullen Route
Album: Apocalyclinic
Release date: July 2011

01. Hysteria
02. Selfish I
03. Burial Ground
04. Cynoptic
05. Dune
06. Tonight's Avenue
07. All In October

While some of the darker/more charged versions of that whole post-rock/metal thing used to excite me, the bulk that have come my way lately have diminished my interest and left me with an "SSDD" feeling... same shit, different dudes.

Unfortunately The Sullen Route fell into that pattern with Apocalyclinic.

The Volgograd quartet play some form of post-ish rock/metal not too dissimilar from other artists I've reviewed this year. Crunched, simplistic riffs bent on creating a mood, melodic leads over at times, shouted vocals. Occasionally the cut back to mellow moments, occasionally the ramp up in intensity.

You know, SSDD.

Musically it's not bad, but the riffs seem predictable and at times just "static", which is an exciting sounding way of saying "we'll play this chord for 16 evenly spaced 1-2-3-4 notes, then switch to another chord for 16 evenly spaced 1-2-3-4 notes, then start all over again." Predictable riffs are not particularly exciting, especially when you play them in predictable patterns and sit on them far too long. The melodic leads are uncomplicated, but nice. The tone and feel are both good, so they do a fine job in brightening up the songs.

The vocals are south of sub-par and north of flat out dreadful. While in the annals of extreme metal, Cookie Monster vocal jokes abound, the vocalist does at times sound like one of the various monsters that inhabit Sesame Street. Just seems mighty awkward.

While most of the songs are just sort of there, and eventually goad you into some sort of Sonic Stockholm Syndrome ("this really isn't bad, I kinda like this"), the band does have a few flashes of inspiration.

The fourth track, "Cynoptic" opens with an almost industrial sounding riff that really caught my ear and intrigued me, the song eventually shifted back to the usual mode, only with the benefit of at least keeping the cool riff sort of going in the back ground. All in all a good tune.

The track that follows, "Dune", was pretty cool as well. The song opens with an acoustic riff, rolling bass with some groovy embellishment, reverbed vocals that diminish the annoyance factor, and a really cool slide riff giving off a Wild West "gun fight at the OK Corral" kind of vibe. They do, as with "Cynoptic", resort to similar riff patterns for the more intense sections that are probably the best executed on the album... so they followed up a strong track with another...

then faded back to the pattern of the first three tracks for the two closers.

All in all it's slightly above average music with hints of what could be when they opt to escape from the post-paradigm and toss other stuff in the mix accompanied by some awkward vocals.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 6
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Written on 17.11.2011 by BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 14 users
23.02.2012 - 11:48
Concept One
I was looking for something good (not new) and I found it. Not so average in my opinion.
23.02.2012 - 17:31
I have to disagree with this review, I thought altogether it was a great collaboration.

As cobrapel said, it was something good and found it. It carries a doomsday sorta atmosphere throughout, the album art was beautiful.
Hysteria was a pretty good song. I would rather give it an 8/10. Only thing that confused me was why it was listed as post-metal in the voting? Am I missing something here? It didn't seem very post-metal..

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