Thursday, February 6, 2014

Systemhouse 33 - Depths Of Despair - Album Review

Year: 2013

Though I enjoy almost every incarnation of metal in existence, bands that move away from the norm and experiment within their genres, hold a special place in my heart. The thrill of hitting the play button on an experimental album and not knowing what to expect, is something that is indescribable by mere words. Unfortunately, there are but a few handful of band here, in India, that are willing to think outside the box and experiment a little. But the few ones that do take the risk, end up doing a fine job at it. The very same can be said for Mumbai based band, Systemhouse33.

Having been around for 10 years, it was only last year that the band came out with their debut full length, titled 'Depths of Despair'. Though this band would fit under the description of groove infused thrash metal, this tag would not do complete justice to what their music has to offer.

There are various things to be observed in the tracks presented in this album. The very noticeable difference between this band and most other bands that foray into the technical territory is that these guys keep a steady groove and rhythm going in the songs, to which they add the technical touch ups. There is a certain progressive edge to the songs too, which might be credited to the unusual time signatures that these guys resort to. The start stop riffing patterns also tend to give off the slightest djent feeling to the listener.

At only 22 minutes of play length, the album is a little bit short compared to the average thrash album. The short play length is compensated by the replay value that the songs possess. The song writing and structuring is present in such a way that it is hardly possible to digest every aspect of the music in a single listen.

The tracks flow into one another and though at first it may seem like one long 20 minute track, repeated listens bring forth the subtle differences that make each track stand out on it's own. Guitarist Daniel D'Souza showcases his ability to take groove filled riff and make it sound technical. Samron Jude (who also did the vocals for the band Sceptre) shrieks and screams, giving a rough edge to the songs. Backing the guitar riffs is a capable rhythm section, represented by bassist Leon Quadros (Zygnema) and drummer Amogh Sharma.

'Depths of Despair' may not be a groundbreaking effort. Nonetheless, it manages to offer a breath of fresh air, in a genre populated by bands that usually tend to stick to the the norm.

Rating: 84%

Systemhouse33 is a part of the line up at Thrashfest sponsored by Transcending Obscurity, which is set to happen on 9th February, 2014 at Hotel United 21, Mumbai.

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