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We Got This Far - "Blunt Force Volume" (CD)

We Got This Far - "Blunt Force Volume" CD cover image

"Blunt Force Volume" track listing:

1. breath before the plunge
2. Like Dying
3. .sedona
4. Mistep
5. .endgame
6. cave in
7. Bludgeon
8. anywhere but here
9. .so.this.is.doom
10. someone somewhere*

Reviewed by on September 1, 2012

"Even industrial metal shouldn't feel this recycled."

The trick with industrial metal is to somehow find a way to enliven the intentionally cold, programmed sounds with something of the composer's soul. Ministry's Al Jourgenson manages it, as does Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor. Unfortunately, minus a few inspired moments, We Got This Far's "Blunt Force Volume" drowns in its own sterility.

The album's most successful moments are those in which Jason Ames-Silva and Oliver Marsh dare to do something unexpected and bring unadorned instrumentation like the acoustic guitar that shows up in "cave in." Sure, there are programmed elements surrounding it, but it gives the listener some warmth amid the electronic fuzz. "Anywhere but here" follows a similar approach.

Another highlight is the comparatively subdued ".sedona," which has some splendidly creepy near-whispered vocals and an excellent chorus about how "all these excellent feats of magic can't fix the fuck-ups now."

Unfortunately, those tracks are surrounded by a lot of stuff that frankly feels like it was cribbed from "Pretty Hate Machine." Near-danceable beats punctuated with bursts of hyper-distorted noise? "Like Dying" and "Mistep" serve those up, as does the slightly better "Bludgeon." Tracks that consist largely of near-ambient noise? "Breath before the plunge" and ".so.this.is.doom*" have that covered. The problem is that We Got This Far doesn't add anything particularly new or noteworthy to those sounds. They may have "lived" the songs, as they write in the liner notes, but they impart so little that feels unique to them that most of the album feels forgettable.

A handful of good tracks aren't enough to recommend We Got This Far's "Blunt Force Volume." Even industrial metal shouldn't feel this recycled.

Highs: ".sedona," ""cave in" and "Anywhere but here."

Lows: Sterility and a lack of originality rule the day here.

Bottom line: An industrial album that, despite a couple good tracks, doesn't add anything original to the genre.

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)