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CD REVIEW: Slowmatch  - Illusions (EP)

by: Cyrus Rhodes

 

 

 

Artist: Slowmatch

CD: Illusions

Label: Independent Artist

Website: http://slwmtch.com/

Genre: Electronica Rock, Alternative Rock
Sounds Like: Type O’ Negative, NIN, Filter, Fields of the Nephilim, Poisonblack

Technical Grade: 7/10
Production/ Musicianship Grade: 7/10

Commercial Value: 7/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10

Best Songs: Without a Word
Weakness: Winded Song, Short sided EP, EP release,  

 

CD REVIEW:

 

Slowmatch’s sound was born in Brussels, Belgium. It is inspired by the post punk scene, and what was called the Cold Wave, and bands that broke new ground like Joy Division, Bauhaus, Killing Joke. It also absorbs the contribution of Industrial bands. Distorted guitars blend with synthesizers, and drums blend with drum machines. Slowmatch is now based out of North Carolina and their latest EP release is entitled Illusions (2013)

The CD methodically takes of with apocalyptic title track a striking low end prelude that sets the stage rather way for this catalogue of music. This piece hits hard with its pulsating rhythm, thunderous guitar chords and catchy vocal delivery. Track 2 "Without A word” delivers more of the same raw intensity that slams your ears into submission with its thought provoking lyrical content, impressive vocal emotion, and overall hooky melody. I Love the vocal intensity on this one. The CD doesn’t let up - with Track 3 “Beauty and Destruction” is an interesting piece that whips you around like a wild tornado, with melodic guitar and dynamic vocal intensity that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear influences ranging from Type O’ Negative, Fields of the Nephilim, Filter, and Poisonblack. I can also hear Nine Inch Nails, and Rob Zombie. It definitely has the Industrial rock feel to it. I will add that this is one composer that has carved out a unique nice for himself within a unique fusion of sound. The music has everything you would expect from a high octane Industrial Alt-Rock CD. The musical style refuses to be pinned into submission. The vocals are gritty and are push the emotional envelope hard. The guitar playing is dark and hot to the touch, the low end beats and rhythmic touches are well executed. The production value provides thick low end punch and crystal clear high end clarity.  Some of the theatrical production touches are impressive and borderline brilliant. The songs themselves are reckless, progressive and packed to the hilt with raw intensity and lyrical content from the dark side. The vocal style works well with respect to this style of music with its stereotypical jagged edge delivery. What I like most about the music is its intensity, intellectualism and consistency. Slowmatch also does a pretty good job at presenting intellectually stimulating visuals and thought provoking lyrics. The subject matter throughout makes the experience a thinking mans music. Like a heavy weight boxer the songs keep coming at you one after the other - with no sign of letting up.

 

As much as I like this EP it’s fair to say Slowmatch sounds more like Trent Reznon than Trent Reznor does. I also typically deduct 1 star for EP releases. The full length release is a more complete snapshot to judge an artist or band by at any given point in time. The EP is bit short, perhaps 2-or 3 more tracks are needs to make it a fully loaded EP teaser. All songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. I like the vocla emotion but Slowmatch should also showcase a nice high-full baritone from time to time on some of his songs to show the world how good of a singer he can be. Things like falsettos, vibrato and more breathy accents throughout.

 

The latest CD Illusions from Slow match is a solid and consistent musical Ep statement. Its strength – the impressive songwriting, musical ambience and theatrics and overall dark theatrical intensity that keeps coming at you song for song. The messages are dark, though provoking, intense and may cause your ears to either bleed of freeze solid.   

Cyrus Rhodes