Friday, December 4, 2009

Praeter Morte- Purifying The Oppressor

Offical Myspace
Released: 2009
Release Type: CD, Full Length
Label: Last Resort Records
Genre: Melodic Death/Deathcore

With the explosion of the whole deathcore/metalcore scene over the past seven or so years, we've seen a slew of awful bands making their way into the mainstream and giving metal a new face which I'm sure a lot of us don't appreciate. Unfortnatly with the whole scene there are a handful of good bands that are just watering down At the Gates and mixing it with Sick of it All and Hatebreed. Case in point Long Island's Praeter Morte find themselves in an odd place, while at times they execute very good melodic death metal, and at other times fall prey to stereotypical and painfully uninspired moments with their music which has epitomized the reason people hold bands like Waking the Cadaver, Black Dahlia Murder, White Chapel, Suicide Silence and Killswitch Engage as metal's death knell.

Not being the biggest fan of this recent trend, there are a handful of great bands, some who prexisted the trend and got pushed into it (Darkest Hour) as well as others who were important innovators (The Red Chord's first album is one of the best post 2000 albums I've ever heard, and Despised Icon aren't half bad), but for the most part it all sounds the same to me.

I'm at odds with this cd as it portrays the band being very competent musicians, and at times excellent songwriters, but unfortunately they fall into cliches and live up to the repugnant stereotypes of the genre. The first track starts off excellently, showcasing catchy guitarwork with obvious nods to At the Gates as well as more than competent drumming and climatic breaks and developments, yet almost on que as I was enjoying myself comes a completely unnecessary breakdown which repeats ad nasum (hur hur hur). "I Remain" continues this perpetual cocktease as it starts with an excellent and attention grabbing riff and then shamefully delves into a two-step mosh section for absolutely no reason. Now I understand the gimmick, the reason, as when played live breakdowns are awesome, but to throw them around like Monopoly money gets rid of any climatic value. Strangely enough the track continues and employs another typical metalcore gimmick of clean guitar, but here it actually works and segways into a very enjoyable riff. The second track acts an exemplar of a very competent and talented band, for whatever reason, giving into stereotypes and gimmicks.

I think Praeter Morte really act as a microcosm for the whole scene as they have some awesome parts but hide it, almost as if they're embarrassed about it, between cliches to appease braindead fans or the market. "The Culling" is probably my favorite track although the breakdown acts in a funny manner as it's utterly pointless and annoying but then leads into an awesome section and a dope solo.

To se the record straight, I love breakdowns. Suffocation is my favorite death metal band, and one reason being their excellent use of rhythm, accenting and structure. Their breakdowns are flawless and never unwelcome, and just like Mike Smith's excellent blast beats, they're all used in moderation and never sicking. Even moreso, black metal with breakdowns is one of my favorite things (Nefastus Dies combines melodic death metal with black metal flawlessly and does this, Leviathan has a few, and I'm sure there's others) I like my death metal with breakdowns (Decapitated, Dying Fetus, Dismember, Devourment, Aborted, Blood Red Throne, etc) but all those bands know the proper use and in the case of Devourment it's an enjoyable gimmick done right, there's no melodic harmonized leads and clean sections to mar the slam.

At the end of the day Praeter Morte is a group of great musicians and talented artists playing beneath their ability. If they were to drop the gimmicks of the genre and focus more on stuff like the epic harmonized guitars in "S.S.P," the midpaced catchiness in the beginning of "To Those Left Behind" and or the tremolo riffing in "The Culling" but unfortunately there's way too many breakdowns, two-step sections, bad and misplaced inhale vocals and not to mention low quality artwork to make me want to come back to this.

I would be more lenient if the hidden track at the end of "Bodies on Sunrise" wasn't a cover from the awful Adult Swim show "Tim and Eric Awesome Show" ( I looked it up hoping it'd be some old nyhc song) but i guess in the end metalcore and shitty tv shows aimed at stoners accomplish the same thing, cheap temporal enjoyment with little reason to come back.

If White Chapel, Suicide Silence, Hatebreed, Black Dahlia Murder, etc etc is your thing then check this out, it'd be nice to see a smaller band like this reap the benefits rather then the Hot Topic mainstays like Suicide Silence. You can listen to their tracks on their myspace, as well as buy the cd from them, or you can buy the cd on iTunes I believe.



206 said...

Beautiful. Arresting. Encapsulating. The review, I mean. I'll skip the band, thank you.

King Cripple said...

I am with 206. The review was quality, but I have no need to hear even a single note from the band.

Anonymous said...

i think you are being masked by the idea of the breakdowns. this band is way past being deathcore and lean way more towards blackmetal. the atmosphere surpases chessy clean tones use in metalcore which you were comparing in to. this band is not metalcore. nothing in their sound represents it. this cd is not overloaded with breakdowns as you make it to be.

Unknown said...

This review goes way to far on many levels. How you compare the style and lyrics to bands such as Killswitch Engage and Black Dahlia in my opinion is very far off. Even more far off then Hatebreed itself. You look at the art work, you listen to the rifts but honestly I think you are missing the actual 'art' Praetor Morte portrays here. Now you all have right to make your own opinion by just listening to the CD itself, but you have not looked into the actual history of the band. As a matter of fact Praetor Morte has been deemed worthy enough to play with your favorite Suffocation on lovely long island. Well I would say this qualifies them as more then just a 'stereotypical' death metal band. Playing on other big named tickets with God Dethroned at the Gramercy show this band has what it takes to sit with the big boys and get the exposure they deserve. For those of you like 206 here and so on who automatically will listen to this dribble and not listen for yourself and make your own opinion for yourself, I am sorry you are missing out on something new. Come to one show and I guarantee you will be impressed, leaving with a smile and saying to yourself "that was fuckin brutal".

Gravemarker said...


Unknown said...

For a professional blogger a response of 'lolwut' is a little anticlimactic.

206 said...

I trust FM. If anyone knows black metal, it's him - being a black metal radio DJ and all.

As to attacking me, anyone who reads my reviews knows I listen to punk and grind. If it's not punk and grind, I am not interested. So, with all due respect, go fuck yourself.

Axel Sikth said...

Did somebody hurt your feelings by not giving your precious little band a positive review Francis? As entitled to your opinion as you are, you sound like a butthurt little bitch.

For the record, nobody needs to delve in a band's history to appreciate and understand their so-called art. I think a listen to their album will suffice. We are writing reviews, not band biographies no? And in nowhere did FM compare Praeter's lyrics and style to KSE and Black Dahlia. Same goes for the Hatebreed comparison. You might want to reread that paragraph.

And so what if this band has toured/is touring with metal greats? Great bands tour with shitty bands all the time. Just because Slayer brings Trivium on tour with them doesn't put them on the same level as the big four.

Get over yourself. Somebody doesn't think as highly of your favorite band as you do. Boo hoo. Cry me a fucking river.

Anonymous said...

well for someone who listens to black metal he completely missed it on the album. the whole albumes undertones is blackmetal and not metalcore and his describes. just cuase there are modern day breakdowns, you cant just lump the band in with the rest. they are not trying to be the rest. blackened deathcore i say.

Axel Sikth said...

And to that comment I can only reply with a big 'ol facepalm. Black metal undertones my ass.

206 said...

It comes down to this: we will review anything metal. We will write about what we like, and why we liked it. We will write about what we do not like, and why we did not like it. We call it like we hear it.

But we are under no obligation to like the material. Any band sending us an album needs to understand this. If you disagree with our opinion, that is fine. But there is not use trying to say we are wrong because we do not think like you. You cannot change how we perceive the music.

Danny said...

Hey, whats up guys. I'm Danny, guitarist and the principal songwriter in Praeter Morte. First off I gotta say thanks for taking the time to listen. I'm sorry for anyone who's attacking you on account of your opinion, I knew full and well that this is exactly what I was asking for when I mailed you guys the CD. And honestly, I've read some of your other reviews, and compared to them I'd call this a pretty positive one. All the subjective material and opinion aside, you wrote that you felt we were great musicians and songwriters, and to be honest that's the best compliment we feel can get. So thanks.

I just wanted to clarify that I totally feel you when it comes to disgust with this emerging "deathcore trend". Most of the bands that you likened us to in your review (Suicide Silence, Black Dahlia Murder, White Chapel) I really feel are grossly overrated. None of us are really into that scene, the "mainstream deathcore sound" is actually what we were really trying to avoid sounding like.

Many of the songs on this CD were actually written a few years ago (I actually wrote SSP back in 2001) before it became "cool" to wear girlpants and steal riffs from At the Gates to paste them together with lame cliche "xcore" breakdowns (and believe me, I've been pissed about that for years). We write the way we do because it's really what we've been listening to for the last ten years and I still personally haven't heard it done right yet (aside, imo, from what we do).

We're really not trying to fit in with or appeal to any genre with our breakdowns (it seems like they were your biggest gripe), we just love breakdowns in general, we grew up with them. Being from Long Island/NYC, fitting the breakdowns into our songs is just something that's been imprinted in our minds since we were kids and honestly we're still proud of being able to keep a New York feel to the songs, because it's important to us with this band to honor our roots. Personally I think we did a good job with most of the breakdowns in terms of not making them sound like the typical upbeat metalcore breakdown, but I guess that's a matter of opinion.

Anyways, it's probably not going to matter but I felt I just had to let any interested parties know where we were coming from with this CD, hopefully our next release won't be perceived as so "scene", from the looks of this review I can tell you'll probably like the new material we're writing now a lot better. Thanks again for your time guys.

P.S. - For the Tim and Eric thing we were just having some fun, but while you see a shitty TV show, many others see modern comic genius. I guess it's a matter of who's looking at it.

206 said...

Danny, cheers mate. That was cool of you. Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

you all claim to not even listen to the album, how can you all continue to argue if you didnt listen

Gary said...

Hey this is Gary the bassists of Praeter. Looks like Danny beat me to the punch so without trying so seem redundant I just want to say Thank you for the review. you obviously know what you are talking about and it really made me feel good to hear this put all so professionally. cheers!

Flesh Monolith said...

Hey guys, I just wanted to say you guys are miles ahead of me and millions of others with our musical aspirations. But Danny and Gary have said what needed to be said and thank you. You sent me the cd, thus I reviewed it as seen fit. It's just not up my ally, but I have four friends i can think of that'd like this and I've been sure to tell them.

But I'd like to avoid shit talking on our comments section. Again, thanks for reading us and thanks for mailing me your cd, and again I don't think you guys are hopping on the bandwagon, and I think I made that pretty obvious, regardless I wouldn't fret over what one blogspot author has to say, I'm sure you've got better things to do.


DN said...

I really don't believe two people commented negatively about a band without hearing one note of the band's music (while still praising the amazing review). You trust someone's opinion that much? I think that "Purifying the Oppressor" is actually quite good; strange I know, but I typically like to listen to albums before judging them. The author must be happy to have "fans" that blindly agree with whatever he says, even if they haven't heard the music in question.

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