Adimiron - "When Reality Wakes Up" (CD)
"When Reality Wakes Up" track listing:
2. Wrong Side of the Town
4. Choice for a Mask
6. Das Experiment
8. When Reality Wakes Up
9. Still Winter Within
11. Flag of Sinners
Reviewed by EdgeoftheWorld on November 28, 2009
Listening to Adimiron's "When Reality Wakes Up" is a little bit like taking a drive with someone who keeps stomping on the gas and brake pedals at random intervals. You'd like to enjoy some of the scenery, but the constant changes in speed make it a challenge to do so.
There's a lot to admire about this Italian death/thrash band in terms of their musical ability. Guitarists Alessandro Castelli and Danilo Valentini come up with some great riffs, solos, and in the case of the end of "Forgiveness," just plain noise that works well. Drummer Federico Maragoni proves adept at changing styles and tempos on a dime — but then, he has to be in a band like this. Vocalist Andrea Spinelli is more effective when offering up the melodic vocals of "Choice for a Mask" and "Forgiveness" than when growling — but this being a death/thrash album, you can guess which singing style takes precedence.
"Desperates," the track which opens the album, has a bruising riff that gives way to a more melodic part, into which is sprinkled bursts of thrash. It makes it a little difficult for a listener to get his footing as the drums and guitars stutter along. It's too bad too, because this band, in its calmer moments, shows a great talent for melodic thrash. Some bands, like Megadeth, can change tempos and riffs on a dime and somehow blend them together — but the sudden shifts Admiron comes up with on this track and others just leave me feeling discombobulated.
Things are a lot better in the more melodic "Forgiveness," which features great use of a wah-wah pedal in a transitional riff at about two and a half minutes in. This is the album's best track, owing to the fact that the band takes the care to tie all the riffs and changes together in a more coherent manner. The next track, "Choice for a Mask," also handles the time and riff changes well, with Spinelli offering up his best vocal performance.
Then it's off to the album's most confusing track, "Mindoll," which has Spinelli seemingly singing a different song than the one the rest of the band is playing. Maragoni's drumming also makes this one hard to follow.
The instrumental "When Reality Wakes Up," offers up clean guitars accompanied by some of the softest drumming I've ever heard over a bed of wispy electronics. It's a bit of trippy fun that I desperately needed during the last third of the album.
The last three songs are a hodgepodge, with "Still Winter Within" alternating between heavy and moody, "Endeavouring" offering up some twists in style, with a guitar break three minutes in that works quite well, and the heavy "Flag of Sinners" offering up herky-jerky guitars and drums that wiped out any sense of melody in places. There were groovy solo on the last one though.
As I said before, there's much to admire about Adimiron when it comes to instrumental skill. The band's songwriting shows promise as well, but here's hoping the next album handles the changes in riffs and tempos better than "When Reality Wakes Up" does.
Highs: "Forgiveness," "Choice for a Mask," and "When Reality Wakes Up."
Lows: Riff and tempo changes are often abrupt and confusing.
Bottom line: The band shows promise, but abrupt riff and tempo changes will throw many listeners off-balance.
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