Published on Saturday, 28 June 2014 14:13
Album title: Violent Murders
Release date: 16 May 2014
01. The Man
02. Violent Murders
03. Untill the End
07. It's Not the Place to Be
08. Little Whore
10. I Hope You're Fine
If you are into more darkly industrial music beats, Powerotik's latest release Violent Murders is something that will draw your attention for sure. The Costa Rica based band, driven by the creative force of a young man that goes by the name Darien Castillo, has released its second full length, for now only via online stores. What are you in for? A little bit of this and a little bit of that, but I can tell you one thing for sure – you won’t get bored.
If your interest stopped there, because your idea of industrial metal is mixing heavy synths with simplistic guitar riffs and some powerful rhythms to go along and that being it, let me tell you right now: Violent Murders is so much more. The opening track "The Man" definitely sets up the mood and raises some expectations by drawing a horror-esque and haunting ambient and opening the gates into the unknown. And when the party starts, with the title track "Violent Murders", you’ll be surprised just how much diversity this album holds: the sole simplicity of industrial metal is enriched on so many levels; as it is sometimes veiled in pure jet-black darkness and on the other hand delivers some crazy whiplashing moments.
The sensation of Violent Murders is emerging from its rich sound mixtures: it consist of so many different layers, that all blend in into a very tasteful sonic odyssey. Overall you will feel the cold and mesmerizing influence of classical, old school death rock and goth rock bands, but on the other hand, this release also incorporates some mean thrash and grunge inspired moments, especially with the guitar work. It even holds some EBM influenced passages behind the heavy guitar work, making the whole thing even more interesting. But just as you may think: "Whoa, this is way too much to handle!", let me calm you down. It’s not like it’s all mixed together into some stew. Each and every song delivers a different atmosphere, some on the verge of becoming bone crushers, such as "It’s Not The Place To Be". Then some are covered in shivery and obscure ambient, that will evoke your deepest emotions, like the album’s epilogue and its climax: the slow-paced and asphyxiating "I Hope You’re Fine". Truly a fine work of art.
While I must admit I have always admired the one-man-based projects (thumbs up to Darien!), there is one teeny tiny thing I cannot overlook (or better, overhear): Darien’s vocal work. While you can hear the man does have the rhythm, his vocals are placed in some weird spheres between growls and clean vocals, and instead of making a unique imprint with this technique, he rather sounds a bit odd. I can’t really decide whether I like it or not, but I can imagine with some additional whispers in the background, it may just turn out better than it is. Along comes the pronunciation. I don’t really expect from an album that is entitled Violent Murders to bring me some aristocratic sounding poetry, but when it comes to listening to songs with a title such as "Little Whore", I’d really like to know if I’m enjoying something misogynistic or is it purely metaphorical.
Considering the fact production is also not the album’s brightest moment, I must say that along the thrashy and grungy moments, it does have its charm and doesn’t do the album any harm (the rhyme was unintended). Being a fan of all the named genres, I must admit I really enjoy the record, but as the goth rock side is prevalent, maybe this record will be more pleasing to the fans, who enjoy such tunes, rather than the extreme metal fans.
Review written by: Ines