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Supuration - Room Seven
Review: As progressive and quirky heavy metal with underground metal influences, this band sits somewhere between Dweezil Zappa and the first Obliveon album, emphasizing melodic songwriting with the playfulness of instrumental joy. On this album, however, complex intertwined themes are replaced by simple three-device songs that introduce verse-chorus motif clusters, with some device -- a quick-picked one note lead tugging at a melody which converges into a crashing cascade of power chords, an arpeggio harmonizing with a backdrone -- leading into songs that use a riff or several for each of verse and chorus structures through which they cycle, with perhaps one bridge evocative of the introduction, until cessation.
Almost all vocals are sung and not distorted growls on this album unlike previous works, and the influence of vocal melody from the Beach Boys through Stone Temple Pilots is evident. The music is beautiful and distinctly hummable, and beats anything on radio except that it lacks the dramatic nature necessary to achieve the kind of contrast that makes such songs identifiable and tangible to a broad audience. The one casualty that will be mourned is the riffcraft which silhouetted earlier albums; too much of the guitar work on this album is alternation between eggshell-fragile sweep picking and muffled power chords repeated to ride a rhythm. If this band were to fuse the latter technique with the aptitute of a Metallica for working a phrase into the staggered rhythms of power chord speedpicked riffs, they would create a far better version of contemporary AOR metal, but as it is, this album contains beautiful music in a digestible form that refrains from insulting listener intelligence.