Various Artists - Underground Transmission
Reviewed by Michael on 23rd June 2003
First up, we have Transgression, with the song Dismal Grey. This starts off very promisingly, with enthusiastic, well timed drumming and a catchy guitar kick that lingers in your head well afterwards. Sadly, the excellence of the intro is let down by the grunting, screaming vocals that are of a substandard variety. However, there are other vocals that are sung somewhat excellently. The guitar and drums remain consistently good throughout the song, and I'm left with the impression that they have been influenced by the legendary Opeth. Overall, due to the changes in pace, I'd like to hear more.
Secondly, Days of December come off with a rather excellent song in Ask A Stupid Question. I definitely wish to hear more of them, because of their fast paced, energetic, exciting music. The singer is definitely talented, and the instruments are played with enough talent to ensure that it produces a high quality end result. The only low point is the brief moments of screaming, which lower the overall quality considerably. I predict great things in the future, especially once their vocalist's voice matures.
Thirdly, We Become Less are definitely their heaviest band out of the four, but suffer considerably by the repetitive nature of the music. 124 Worlds features the best(!) screaming and vocals, but there seems to be a complete lack of variation on their part. I feel as if there would be no change to their formula, based on this song. When the vocalist is allowed to sing for an extended period, it definitely picks up, perhaps raising the standard by a whole point on the 5 point scale. Interesting none the less.
Lastly, Actonite Thrill step up to the plate, and blow you off your feet with the pure speed that comes through the speakers. Sadly, the vocals seem to be lost in the mix, except for a brief Red Hot Chili Peppers moment halfway through. The guitar is definitely strong, with the instrument played with seemingly true desire. Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment is a passable track, but is definitely the weakest out of the four on the CD due to the distinctly average vocals.
Overall, listening to the demo was an experience that won't be regretted. It has a strange lure, and I find myself listening over and over again without the realisation that I'm doing it. It should be noted that all four bands are playing at the first Underground Transmission night at Dr Drakes in Aberdeen, which this sampler is designed to promote. Attendance seems to be definitely worthwhile.
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