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Ninetail - "The Process Of Conversion" (CD)

Ninetail - "The Process Of Conversion" CD cover image

"The Process Of Conversion" track listing:

1. God-Willing
2. Retribution Song
3. Constrict
4. Forgive Me
5. Unlovely
6. Ruination Theory
7. The Process Of Conversion
8. Emptiness Pill
9. Where Darkness Grins
10. U.H.A.

Reviewed by on September 29, 2006

"Ninetail is harvesting what worked best in the past and simply make their approach remain true to that."

An air raid siren starts off the opening track 'God-Willing,' soon launching you into a doom-impending, storm bringer of a heavy metal song. Harmonic squealing, guitar distortion and thick as cement wall chugger riffing is the obvious weapon of choice for this mix-it-up nice and brutal underground sensation. Lead vocalists, J. William Heitmann, is a literal clone of Burton C Bell back from the old school Fear Factory days. And track number two's 'Retribution Song' doesn't pull back on the mighty Fear Factory influence. It's almost as if former Spinebelt guitarists, Don Belch and Chris Evan, have graduated top honors from the Cazares school of heavy metal guitar, because it seems like the material from this debut is directly influenced by the classic 'Soul of a New Machine' and 'Demanufacture' albums that are responsible for making Dino a guitar hero in the first place. Track three 'Constrict' starts off with double bass drumming and eerie keyboarding from Max Melton and Jerad Gohn, soon taking you down the path of its dual-guitar attack that doesn't ever get flashy or technical, yet makes you unable to doubt the prowess of Belch and Evan because the simple choices they make just seem so right. Song four is 'Forgive Me' and it's my personal favorite. It starts out with a macabre-ish keyboard start and then builds into a wall-to-wall mosher, sorely missing in so much of what's being released today by other metal acts.

Lead singer, Heitmann seals the deal with his bowel-deep howling: "Push it to the limit, there are no boundaries", giving off a sense of bravado and fearlessness that is very affecting to the listener, in terms of drawing you closer to the fight as Ninetail expects from you. Song five is more Nine Inch Nail's inspired as it sprawls its web-like chill over you and pulls you into its awaiting horror-filled landscape that Ninetail has been carefully leading you up to... "With my ability to destroy" croaked out in proclamation for whoever challenges them. Belch's lead solo work on this track is more than satisfying and cuts straight through the bullshit 'arpeggio-crazed' path that so many other leads opt to take when showing fretburning skills. Song number six, 'Ruination Theory', is by no means less agitated then what's come before it, offering this time a more Slayer-esque feel. Track number seven is the title track of the album, "The Process Of Conversion" and what is most refreshing about it is that finally it seems the band has found a way to carve out its own unique identity for songwriting. Here Ninetail certainly sounds influenced by all the earlier aforementioned but stand up as a group trying to make their own unique mark and matter-of-factly getting the job done.

Track number eight is 'The Emptiness Pill' and has a techno-like keyboard part, soon joined by the band's non-stop, always driving forward energy, making the biggest impression on this reviewer with the lyrics "Corruption is choking me... God please set me free, I can't deal with this shit... I can barely breathe." Song nine is 'Where Darkness Grins' begins with an Anselmo-like bark from Heitmann that takes you next into what certainly is one of the more pissed off tunes out of the entire collection, sending out an obvious homage to the once great Fear Factory with the lyrics: "Fear is not a factor". And it truly seems that fear is not a factor with this band, even though they will be touted by many as just another band doing what's been done before, I feel Ninetail is harvesting what worked best in the past and simply make their approach remain true to that.

The final track 'U.H.A.' starts out with a Spanish flamenco guitar seemingly serenading dead lovers that have just gone the 'Romeo and Juliet'' suicide route, "Leaving all the suffering behind" are chilling words and planned out as perfect as ones effectivness in removing their pulse from this earth. Heitmann's biggest vocal acrobatics have been saved for the end here as well, sounding like the love child spawned from the festering wound of Satan's own dark loins, accompanied by the coolest Rock n Roll line I've heard in a long time: "Welcome to the united hate of America."

Highs: There is not one song on this album that doesn't simply kick your ass.

Lows: Being it's a full length, two more tracks could have been added to the ten here.

Bottom line: "Fear is not a factor" for Ninetail.

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)