Atrophia Red Sun - Twisted Logic
11 songs (54:29)
Release year: 2003
Reviewed by Crims

Atrophia Red Sun is a band from Poland that has been around since 1995, however, Twisted Logic is only their second full-length release. I can’t honestly remember a CD that has so many good ideas that are perfectly executed and then so many bad ideas that induces head scratching of the highest degree.

The band is trying, almost too hard, to sound futuristic and cyber. They put a lot of random sounds into their music from the keyboards and guitars, which basically encompasses all manner of special effects that a person might consider to sound futuristic. Sometimes it’s successful, sometimes it’s annoying. While the keyboards are not spewing forth sound effects they’re actually coating the songs with excellent synth but there are more important things to discuss. The guitars are a mish-mash of styles. Essentially the band decided to combine The Haunted, Dark Tranquility, Theory In Practice, Fear Factory, Meshuggah, and (insert random Nu-Metal band). You’re probably wondering what the hell I’m talking about but this has to be heard to be believed. One riff is pure technical Death Metal mastery, then the next is a rhythm heavy Fear Factory (Demanufacture era) riff, and then you have a stop and go Nu-Metal riff (and can’t forget the Gothenburg Thrash section). Not to mention the abundance of riffs that sound like something Ministry on Psalm 69 or Front Line Assembly on Millenium would use and loop for an entire song. The styles sometimes flow well but for every great piece of Metal, you have some modern Nu-Metal sounding section. The band must be credited for keeping the “cyber” atmosphere consistent despite the insane amount of things going in the each track though. The bass is another story. It also gets quite technical and sounds really cool for most of the CD, but far too often it sounds like the bass guitar in Mudvayne which is more annoying than anything.

The modern elements in the guitars aren’t the greatest villain on this release. They’re cringe inducing occasionally, yes, but the real villain is the vocals. Just like the six or so (I stopped keeping count) riff styles, there are about six styles of vocals. Much like the riffs, some are great, others are, well, not so great. The best, and what should have been used the most, is a Jeff Walker (Carcass) harsh style that sounds great. However, even the harsh growls aren’t consistent as they go in and out of the Jeff Walker style, but they’re always tolerable. What isn’t tolerable is the ridiculous amount of vocal effects. I understand the band was trying to keep in tune with their cyber sound and perhaps try and sound like mid 90’s Front Line Assembly but I really don’t need some silly mechanical vocal effect constantly used over, what are otherwise, solid riffs and rhythms. Oh, but it doesn’t end there. Whoever decided using Marilyn Manson’s style of a forced deep spoken word with random high pitches should stop making decisions for the next release. There’s also a bunch of random spoken word and gruff-tough guy vocals routinely found in bands like Drowning Pool or Coal Chamber, along with whiney clean vocals that sound way too much like Slipknot for my liking. I told you this was a mish-mash. The main problem is these vocals don’t work with the music being played and they thus detract from the overall effect of the atmosphere and the intensity of the riffs, especially when most of the harsh styles sound great and fit the music the best.

There are more highpoints in this release though. The production is very good as the guitars are appropriately heavy and very Fear Factory-ish. Despite the amount of rubbish riffs, there are plenty of really awesome Metal riffs that coincide with the incredible musicianship of each band member. There is a high degree of technical rhythms and odd time signatures on most of this release and the band shows that they are very skilled and talented on a number of occasions.

I’m really torn on this CD. There are many moments on Twisted Logic that sound great. I love the technical aspects, the Gothenburg elements, the harsh vocals, and the atmosphere. There are also melodic leads thrown throughout that sound really good and are the only form of melody on this release. However, on the other hand all the random sound effects, Nu-Metal vocal styles, and Nu-Metal riffs take away from some otherwise mostly original and killer extreme Metal. I’m all for bands experimenting and using a lot of influences in their music but there comes a point where you have to tone things down and make music not a slide show of all 20 of your favorite bands. I really hope the band cleans up their sound because there is more than enough talent to make an outstanding and highly distinct CD.

Killing Songs :
Code Word (personal) Cold World, Abstract, Nameless Rot, Twisted Logic
Crims quoted 72 / 100
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