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Ribozyme - "Presenting the Problem" (CD)

Ribozyme - "Presenting the Problem" CD cover image

"Presenting the Problem" track listing:

1. Presenting The Problem
2. Lending A Fever
3. Leverage
4. Over The Galvanized
5. Caskets
6. Downside Advantage
7. Scale Of Values
8. Rewatched
9. Paid In Graves
10. The Bricks Went Flying

Reviewed by on March 9, 2012

"Blending a melodic metal sound with industrial bells and whistles, Ribozyme's 'Presenting the Problem' is an album most listeners will have no problem listening to."

Blending a melodic metal sound with industrial bells and whistles, Ribozyme's "Presenting the Problem" is an album most listeners will have no problem listening to. It offers a varied soundscape that brings to mind acts ranging from the likes of the Foo Fighters and Alice In Chains on the rock side to the almost dance-floor-friendly Nine Inch Nails and Filter — often within the same song.

Take, for example, the way the title track evenly splits the difference between a punk-rock bop and almost a disco feeling in parts. You could nearly see models walking the catwalk to "Over The Galvanized" with its driving drumbeat and simple, but effective guitar and bass lines.

The band takes the right approach in terms of easing the listener in. "Presenting The Problem" and "Lending A Fever" are much more straight-ahead rockers than the third track, "Leverage," with its screechy electronica and severely distorted vocals.

By the time you hit "Caskets," the band is much freer in terms of creating unique soundscapes, laced with more electronics. Fans of Rob Zombie's "Hellbilly Deluxe" will enjoy the hip-sway of "Rewatched," while "The Bricks Went Flying" blends Alice In Chains drone with a beautiful piano and synth coda.

Singer-guitarist Kjartan Ericsson's vocals (and for that matter, the backing vocals by bassist Bard Boge) seldom fall short of excellent. Drummer Cato Olaisen also puts in an excellent performance, lending a much more organic feel to even the most heavily programmed tracks on the album.

Though there aren't any truly bad tracks on the album, it must be said that the overly similar "Downside Advantage" and "Paid In Graves" add a bit of bloat. There are also a couple moments like the end of "Caskets," in which the electronics feel a bit forced.

All in all, though, Ribozyme has the answer of how to blend styles well on "Presenting the Problem."

Highs: "Presenting The Problem," "Caskets" and "The Bricks Went Flying."

Lows: A couple lesser tracks, "Downside Advantage" and "Paid In Graves."

Bottom line: An excellent blend of straight-ahead metal and industrial flourishes.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 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)