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Deadstar Assembly - "Unsaved" (CD)

Deadstar Assembly - "Unsaved" CD cover image

"Unsaved" track listing:

1. Unsaved pt.1 (1:17)
2. Unsaved pt.2 (2:54)
3. Killing Myself Again (3:53)
4. Dejected (3:34)
5. Naive (4:42)
6. And Ashes Will Fall (4:12)
7. Showing Teeth (0:56)
8. Darker Now (4:05)
9. Pale Blue (4:51)
10. Bled (4:03)
11. Serial (4:09)
12. Insurrection (3:17)
13. At Both Ends (4:29)
14. Death Wish (4:02)
15. Perfectly Destroyed (1:20)

Reviewed by on October 5, 2008

"Looking extremely closely, there is a talented rock band here. However, Deadstar Assembly is plagued with a boring goth-rock sound that doesn’t bring anything fresh to the table of rock."

Deadstar Assembly’s “Saved” is their sophomore release under Pure Records, however, this is my first encounter with either the record company and the band. At first look, “Saved” seems to be this epic, gothic fantasy release from a band that wear gas-masks and other facial props on stage. However, it sounds entirely as if Marilyn Manson hooked up with Orgy to create an extremely melodic-goth rock sound.

In this entire release, the sound that becomes most apparent is the drums. Looking extremely closely, there is a talented rock band here. However, Deadstar Assembly is plagued with a boring goth-rock sound that doesn’t bring anything fresh to the table of rock. Instead of hearing clear, straightforward songs, each song is meshed in a gothic-rock vibe complete with synthetic, keyboard and electronic effects that muffle the "real" sound the band had before adding these effects. In one way, it works well, combining these elements to create a fantasy that Deadstar Assembly lives in. On the other hand, being a metal-core metalhead, this band only provoked confusion trying to make clear the fog brought on by all these effects. Bands like Scar Symmetry and Soilwork use synthetics and keyboards as well, but their sound isn’t hidden.

The production is well-worth taking note, as a talented producer was behind this release. I was expecting it to sound over-dramatic, but it wasn’t. The vocals sound scary, very similar to the style of Rob Zombie or Marilyn Manson. The problem is also the guitars as they are extremely heavy on bass effects and seemingly enhanced to influence synthesized effects rather than straightforward riffs. "Unsaved" seems to be alive post-production and not while in the recording room. Every song has a catchy-cheesiness to it that also hinders the sound quality.

Overall, Deadstar Assembly seems to be all about quantity over quality, utilizing 15 tracks to make their point. The band has talent and in a gothic-inspired genre and they do indeed scare the hell out you. For my first impression, I am a little turned off, even with an open-mind.

Highs: Gothic sound scares, very Marilyn manson/Rob Zombie sounding

Lows: Over-used effects destroys the talent of the recording from post-production. Non-metal friendly.

Bottom line: DA makes two points with their sophmore release: they are scary and they are gothic. After that, it is pretty weak and cheesy.

Rated 2 out of 5 skulls
2 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)