An Oslo quartet that are purported to blend influences from hip hop and classical composers into their metalcore. Now that final genre often sends me running but there is something about the bands logo of a giant inverted cross with a Christian cross inside it that intrigued me.
The blurb from Indie music promised dark experimental music and things got off to a promising start. The dark watery intro leading into “Born Rotten” which blasted in with raging vocals and slabs of industrial sounding guitars mixing in with a lilting singing voice and baby cries. Nice. Organic cybercore with great sounding synths. The metalcore vocals are what any fan of the genre would expect but the almost spoken foil to that blade offers a nice balance. “No Hope For Miscarriage” featuring Jesper from Danish tech metallers Ghost Iris. Some nice use of strings on the track but this is pretty formulaic metalcore. Some pleasant melodies.
Next up is another guest spot, this time for Alex Terrible from Russian/UK deathcore act “Slaughter to Prevail” (I feel like my dad must have done glancing at my copies of Metal Forces in the ‘80’s- who?) . This track is pretty awful until Mr Terrible jumps in. Rap metal a la 1998 even Rob Flynn might have taken his plaits out earlier if he heard this at the time. The to and fro rapping is dated and very tired . Just no! The monster death growls at the end are fun though. Shame they only last for 20 seconds. “Slap” is another lump of stodgy metalcore, this time with autotuned vocals and I understand that I have been lured in on false pretences. I feel like a victim of airbrushing and good filters. “+47 3029” is a near three minute track featuring an American child leaving short answer phone messages for his or her mother asking her to call back over some synth strings. Now this is a concept album apparently so maybe it fits into a story somehow. I just found it dull.
“Domestic Abuse” featuring someone called Damien is next. Crazy bongo laden rap bursts filled with lukewarm motherfuckers. This is not Jonathan Davis guys!
By the time I have got to “She Wept as I told Her” I feel like I am reading fake posts on Reddit or the attention seeking FML posts of teens on facebook. But autotuned. This track has a bit of an ok Emo melody in it somewhere buried under the over produced bunting and bluster. Like Taking Back Sunday forced through a Myspace portal laced with WKD.
Next up Joel Holmqvist from Sweden’s Aviana steps up on the mic. There are a hell of a lot of guest vocalists on here. There is a bit of swagger on this track despite the plinky whiny keyboard line trying to derail everything. This album will no doubt be a hit for a certain crowd. It is generic and repetitive with no stand out tracks or highs or lows. The promise of dark experimentalism appears to mean using some keyboards and terribly distorted vocals and a big guest list of vocalists who add little to the mix. It’s like adding mashed potatoes to rice. More grey stodge.
By the time “Death is all I think About” moves into the outro “Drowning Regret” I realise that this album with its great title (I do like it) is not for me. It is the third in a series of concept albums and I hope if gives Atena’s fans what they want and that they have an enjoyable tour and continue doing what they obviously love.
Hey my mum will be proud of that!
(1/10 Matt Mason)