Monday, November 24, 2008

Provocation - Towards Total Annhilation (Mutilated Records; 2008)

When you think of themes of brutal death metal, the things that usually come to mind are the various parts of human anatomy and how they can removed preferably in the most painful/criminally sexual way possible. You don't think of things like history, left wing politics, or social commentary. Leave that stuff to Punk right?

Wrong. At least according to Provocation who come from southern Germany but are (understandably) quite angry with George W. Bush and the right wing of politics in general and use their music as a vehicle to express this anger. Not that you can hear single lyric throughout the album, but the booklet is a nice read. Songs like Poor in Resources, High in Conflict or Perverse World Domination read almost like a history lecture, which, as a history student and a left-leaning person myself, I tend to like. It's not the most eloquent stuff around but it isn't shit either.

In the end though, it's the music that really matters, so let's talk about that. The riffing style on this album reminds me of the obtuse, heavy slams of Vulvectomy, mixed with spiraling, slightly melodic Californian sounding riffs. This mix works pretty well and leads to interesting songs that you can't pin down to a really particular regional style and they certainly don't sound like a clone. Can't really say I was blown away, but there were some good moments on here for fans of the genre.

The vocals and rhythm section on this album however left something to be desired. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't really that good. It's hard to say anything in particular was bad, it just felt off. The production was fine but didn't help either. This is the band's first album though so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, but clearly there is room for improvement here.

So kudos to Provocation for trying some new things, both riff wise and lyric wise, but there is work to be done before they release a truly great album. If you're looking for some slam with a little uniqueness you could do worse, but you could also do better. (hint: keep an eye out for our upcoming review of the new Human Mincer album!)

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