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Need - "Siamese God" (CD)

Need - "Siamese God" CD cover image

"Siamese God" track listing:

1. Rainy Pieces of Hell
2. Soon
3. Lie Before You Sleep
4. Flesh Machines
5. Siamese God
6. In Between
7. War/ning
8. C.M.R.
9. The Lesson

Reviewed by on February 1, 2011

"True to the genre name 'progressive,' 'Siamese God' shows a true integration of styles…"

"Many desire heaven, but nobody wants to die." The lyrics to the title track of this Greek quintet’s sophomore album, "Siamese God," sets the lyrical tone for the album. Enlightened pessimism pervades the lyrics of this album, as well as themes of hurt, confusion, spite and anger. These lyrics accompany a buffet of musical styles on this album, including riff-heavy traditional metal, deceptively-quick instrumental passages, berserk proggy parts, and even some light-and-clean soft music. Upon hearing the album, listeners will likely do as the band’s name says – Need.

"Rainy Pieces of Hell" starts the album off on a doomy note, quickly running into a Destruction-worthy blend of thrash metal. Pete’s drumming talent is tremendous on this piece, with perfectly-timed hits and a display of drumming styles from straight-up metal drumming to all-over-the-place technicality, without getting self-indulgent. Maintaining the groove, Jon V’s vocals on top are 90% clean, and they come in four flavors: whispered, sung, fiery and crispy (rarely growled/screamed). K.K.’s bass lines mostly follow the guitars, which is a feat unto itself.

"Soon" is a diversion from the first song, opting for ultra-heavy chromatic grooves amidst rapid-fire drumming, occasionally stepping into polyrhythmic sections. There’s also a significant and useful amount of industrial effects on the track. Jon V howls, "God forsaken, skies are breaking, mind awaken, soon I’ll be god." This piece feels gritty, dark, and crushing.

"Lie Before You Sleep" and "In Between" see a greater use of dynamics, incorporating clean parts effectively to balance out the album. Both see Jon V’s emotionally-charged vocals assisted by a very competent rhythm section and some very impressive guitar solos by Ravaya. "Siamese God" and "Flesh Machines" take on a rather Nevermore-like tone to the lyrics, and sometimes in the music. The latter has a very Cannibal Corpse-meets-Nevermore-meets-Outworld feel to the music, both bludgeoning and fast, and the band is able to synchronize to great effect, stopping on a dime when needed.

"War/ning," "C.M.R.," and "The Lesson" end the album with several swift kicks in the ass, especially on the former two. The band is able to balance out each instrument’s technicality so that the songs maintain forward momentum, as opposed to letting one instrument completely dominate a song or a section. The vocals could benefit from being clearer in many verses on the album, but the mix on the album is mostly clear and beefy, especially in regards to the drums.

True to the genre name 'progressive,' "Siamese God" shows a true integration of styles that were previously separate from each other. This is progress – heavy, thought-out and coordinated. You’re going to want to jump on this album, because the band is skilled and the music is full of surprises – especially at the end of the final track, "The Lesson."

Highs: Massively-talented musicians, fiery vocals, and an uncommon blend of styles.

Lows: Vocal intelligibility, at times.

Bottom line: A monstrous effort at an unorthodox pairing of styles that actually maintains a form.

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)