Black Comedy - Instigator
Season Of Mist
Industrial/Groove Metal
12 songs (58:00)
Release year: 2008
Black Comedy, Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Goat

For a short while in the mid-nineties, Groove Metal was the next big thing. Too light for Death Metal, too heavy for Nu Metal, not enough riffs for Thrash Metal, it was a signpost towards the downtuned world that would follow. Although you can find decent examples of it if you look hard enough (Sepultura’s Chaos AD and Fear Factory’s Obsolete come to mind) as a general rule it’s wise to be cautious around modern bands that take the style upon themselves. For more than a few it’s simply a heavier style of Nu-Metal, and Norway’s Black Comedy comes dangerously close to that despised genre at times. What saves the band is vocalist Jon E Bergan’s harsh snarl, enough to make any Limp Bizkid run in terror, and the truckloads of keyboards that are over most of the album. Add a nod towards the few remaining melodeath survivors, and you have a perfect example of the twisted mutant that haunts our shores like something from a Lovecraftian horror: Modern Metal, that chimerical, foul being, that detractors use to refer to anything past 1997. After all, Metal as a genre gains its strengths from its past, and new movements have to be pretty darn good if they want to survive.

Although Instigator begins with a promisingly epic flavour, the keyboards working perfectly over intro The Emergence and following track Favourite Hateobject, it all comes crashing down on War Incognito, which although catchy sacrifices the Soilwork-gone-Prog feel of the previous track for Korny jumpdafuckup repetition. The album never really regains focus, although there are decent moments dotted here and there, such as the odd clean-vocalled chorus, the piano on At One With Decadence or the more-inventive-than-usual electronic ending of Prime Specimen. When the band is on fire, it works well indeed, and is enough to kick pretenders to the throne such as Deathstars into submission.

Unfortunately, these moments just don’t come often enough. There’s a talented cast of musicians assembled here, from former Dimmu Borgir drummer Tjodalv to Old Man’s Child bassist Memnock. Alas, none really get a chance to shine, and more often than not you’ll find yourself wondering what would have happened if the band had made a genuine attempt at individuality.

Overall then, not one to rush out and buy, and to be honest few will bother to download this either. The fewer examples of this type of Metal that we get presented with the better, especially if they’re as unexciting as this.

Killing Songs :
Favourite Hateobject, Prime Specimen, Lord Of Locust
Goat quoted 55 / 100
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