|Review: Between the Zones - Shiftings|
Year released: 2014
Genre: Progressive Metal
Review online: December 16, 2014
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Shiftings, from France's Between the Zones, came to me as a Progressive Metal release so I duly put it in my review queue. As I started listening it became clear that it wasn't truly Progressive Metal and the lack of an entry on M-A was a damning clue. On the band's Facebook they list themselves as Alternative Metal and we all know "alternative" does NOT equal "progressive." Shiftings features a lot of down-tuned guitars, electronic sounds and screamy vocals and, in fact, bears more resemblance to nu-metal than anything else. I almost stopped after my first listen but the band did take the time to submit the album and I can only assume they familiarized themselves with the stuff we review here, so a review they will get.
Shiftings is undeniably heavy and there are some decent riffs but after that, it strays far from what I consider Heavy Metal. That isn't enough to warrant the score it received. No, that is courtesy of the vocals which are either heavily processed monotone screams or relatively clear singing that seems to be more focused on sounding angst-ridden than in tune. Yuck. The heavy-handed attempt at appearing esoteric, with song titles like "Hippocampus" and "Her Name Was Thanatos" doesn't help the cause. There are probably people out there who can appreciate this stuff, fans of Nine Inch Nails, God Lives Underwater, Stabbing Westward, etc., but while Between the Zones isn't terrible from a talent standpoint, the band has a ways to go before they are on the level of those acts. So, unless your tastes include mid-90s "Heavy Music," Shiftings is one you can pass on.
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