|Review: Cage - Science of Annihilation|
|Science of Annihilation|
Label: Music Buy Mail
Year released: 2009
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: August 27, 2009
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
for:Science of Annihilation
Rated 3.86/5 (77.22%) (36 Votes)
Okay, let me just get a few things out of the way first: The cover on this album sucks ass. The art style is a comic-book-esque one depicting this guy in black armor riding on a big red monster with what looks like molten saliva dripping from his molars, and I guess it wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the stupid ass bubble letter logo they decided to put the album's title in. In yellow, no less. Really classy package here, guys. I don't like the logo much either. It's really an eyesore to look at, all bunched in like that, and square-shaped, to boot. A good logo should enhance an album's artwork, not distract from it. And, Science of Annihilation? Pfft, more like Science of Exasperation, really.
This album is structurally nonexistent. Every song has enough content to fill an entire album of a better band's songs, but it isn't crammed together with class and style like Herman Frank's new album. Instead, we get this ridiculously over-the-top, exaggerated synthesis of what Cage apparently thinks a metal album should sound like. While I'd really love to say it's not a bad thing that the band didn't miss any opportunities to cram in recycled speed metal riffs and layered vocal lines (shifting styles every couple of lines) and double-tracked guitar leads, I don't like lying, and this album really isn't charming enough for me to go that extra mile for it.
I mean, a lot of these songs aren't even very imaginative for all the shit crammed into them; most of them only have the titular lines shouted out four times for the chorus, or something equally banal. But that isn't the worst they do on here; just listen to the idiotic manifesto of cheese they have chosen to title "Planet Crusher," a song that I am sure nobody could ever record with a straight face, and one that proves that sounding heavy and loud doesn't necessarily make you sound good, just more obnoxious. Just listen to this; they barrel out right from the start with speed, speed, speed, not even throwing in a captivating melody or a build-up hook for good measure. It ruins any kind of excitement one could possibly derive from this song, and they never even really bother to fix it, just churning out shitty songs like "Scarlet Witch," the tedious "Operation Overlord," the horrible "Die Glocke" and the frighteningly plastic title track. There's such a thing as kicking ass and still having the sensibility to write songs well, you know. What Cage did here is kind of like the equivalent of fast-forwarding through a (good) movie to watch only the action scenes, skipping everything else. It's stupid, and ruins the entire purpose of watching the movie in the first place - to experience the whole, and to get into a good story. I don't get why anyone would ever want anything else, and this album's comparable mentality is nothing short of annoying and anti-climactic.
The guitar tone on here is just annoying, too polished and saccharine by a hundred miles, and even the solos, which are otherwise kind of fun, end up sounding grating and obnoxious. Sean Peck has a good voice, but he never sings anything good here, only occasionally even coming up with a passable vocal melody at all. It's really pretty sad to watch, especially when you consider he got his voice under such good control on the last two albums. Here he just sounds strained and over-exuberant, like an angry parrot. He should really stop trying so hard to sound angry - there is such a thing as subtlety! Everything about this album is just done poorly all around, and it's just embarrassing.
Oh, and how about the outro piece? It's completely self-indulgent and ridiculous, just this shitty ass chunk of soulless speed while some idiot who sounds like he would be more comfortable reading poetry in a black beret at a nightclub narrates. Just horrible. Did they think we would actually want to listen to this album again after that? What a way to go out, I tell you.
I guess "Power of a God" is a pretty good song though, along the lines of what I would normally expect from these guys. It sounds like a B-side off of Darker than Black, but it's still not bad, with a nice groove kicking and a slightly more likable performance on the vocal front. The keyboard backup is kind of cool, too, and if the rest of this album wasn't so goddamn puerile, maybe I'd think this idea had potential. And "Spirit of Vengeance" is okay, too, with just about the only catchy chorus on the entire album.
But really, I think Cage went out of their way here to make something unappealing and retarded. Science of Annihilation is really not a very good album at all, only saved by the fact that most of it isn't too offensive, if not just annoying. It's a throwaway album. They seem to be trying to market this stuff to the kiddies who love 3 Inches of Blood and DragonForce exclusively, which would explain the longer songs and the amount of parts crammed into each one, but there is one crucial factor overlooked in all of this: Nobody really cares; nobody ever will. Just avoid this tripe, you will thank me later.
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