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Light Pupil Dilate - "Snake Wine" (CD)

Light Pupil Dilate - "Snake Wine" CD cover image

"Snake Wine" track listing:

1. Prana
2. Twinkly
3. Poly Viral
4. Big Open
5. Selfless
6. Phlebitis
7. Shower Me With Your Love
8. Boundary Dissolution
9. Dive

Reviewed by on August 22, 2010

"While 'Snake Wine' is an overall decent, sometimes good release, it is more suited for people who are already fans of the genre."

The state of Georgia has developed its own signature sound of sludgy, melodic metal. A sound that infuses elements of 90’s punk, 80’s metal, and 70’s prog to create the sound made famous by acts like Georgia metal heavyweights Baroness and Mastodon. Atlanta’s Light Pupil Dilate continue and expand on the tradition with “Snake Wine,” an album dripping in dual-vocals, pounding bass, rolling drums, and bursts of technical fury.

Album opener “Prana” is the perfect example of the Georgia metal sound and of what Light Pupil Dilate offers up with “Snake Wine;” a mix of complex moments , melody, and some driving hooks, all of which combine effortlessly with the band’s dual-vocal approach. At this point in the game things may come across as routine, since there are a pile of bands doing the same thing and there isn't anything mind-blowing about the material on this disc. “Prana” does hit hard though, and demonstrates the band’s ability at conjuring up a good riff.

The odd thing about “Snake Wine” is the fact that the good songs are really good, but the bad songs are really bad. “Shower Me With Your Love” is a heavier and more technical effort, but it’s attempts at being progressive fall a bit short. The song also comes across as annoying with the wall-of-sound mentality, having a negative impact of the album’s flow. On the other hand “Selfless” features great melodies, intense drumming, and exceptional guitar work that really brings to mind the Baroness sound and is highly recommended for checking out.

While “Snake Wine” is an overall decent, sometimes good release, it is more suited for people who are already fans of the genre. While not as melodic as Baroness and not as progressive as Mastodon, Light Pupil Dilate does churn out some rockin’ riffs and the drum work is incredible across the entire album; though it is not a good starting point for those looking to get into the Georgia metal groove.

Highs: Fantastic drum work, "Selfless" is also an incredible listen.

Lows: Seems like a struggle by the band to find their true sound.

Bottom line: For those who are already fans of Georgia state's metal sludge.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 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)