Review: Lana Harris
|Based in Melbourne, Five Star Prison Cell began destroying young people’s hearing in 2005. They’ve since completed an impressive array of tours including supporting Bloodduster in Oz and Dillinger Escape Plan in the US. Matriarch represents the third album for the four piece line up which includes vocalist Adam Glynn, guitarist Mark Holain, bassist Cameron MacDonald and drummer Marc Whitworth.
Their sound is often described as ‘math metal’ (which refers to the group’s use of complex rhythmic structures and structuring songs using unusual time signatures), and the tracks contain a lot of syncopated sounds. But beneath these labyrinthine twists and turns in the songs is enough
good, strong riffage to impress upon those of less technically inclined the fact that Five Star Prison Cell also makes tracks you can bang your head to easily.
As soon as the album starts, you are hit on all sides by the power of drummer Marc Whitworth. He drills the sounds into your mind from every direction simultaneously, forceful, but more layered and interesting than just a wall of sound. The momentum he starts during opening track ‘I Curse This Vessel’ just keeps building until ‘Modus Operandi’, which appears just before mid way on the album. This was the stand out track, a mountain of sound, a blistering explosion that would crack apart even five star cell walls. As it finishes, its hard not to wonder where it could go from there, how the pace could be maintained. Then ‘Paramountain’ begins, and the band takes a step back, providing a space in which to rebuild and change direction, a space whose intro is narrated in Greek.
Having made some room, the second half of the album provides for more appreciation of other band members. This is particularly evident on ‘Loss of Gravitas’ which is a tremendous display of the power of Glynn’s vocals, an exploration in low range growls amidst strong screaming, and also on ‘Forlorn’, which brings MacDonald into the spotlight and strange as it sounds, provided some groove elements to the track, demonstrating the band’s commitment to creating interesting music by doing things differently. Although lyrics throughout are not easily distinguishable, an exception is found in the final track ‘Lamia’ on which the amusing sentiments can easily be deciphered (but they’re not really suitable for printing!). Matriarch was an enjoyable album and one which those not versed in the sub genres of metal can still enjoy as a good dose of satisfyingly heavy music.
– Matriarch – Five Star Prison Cell
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Review: Dillinger Escape Plan @ The Metro Theatre – Friday May 21, 2010
Interview: Ben Weinman – The Dillinger Escape Plan
Audio Interview: Ben Weinman – The Dillinger Escape Plan *The Audio version*
The Dillinger Escape Plan – Australian Tour – May 2010 (TOUR DETAILS)