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Sworn: Sworn

I have to say right off the bat, that generally I'm not too fond of reviewing demo recordings, especially from indie bands. Unless it's something that really knocks my socks off, I'm usually a little wary of writing a review of something that doesn't feel finished, or more specifically, might not be a true representation of the finished product.

Citing influences such as Celtic Frost, Opeth, Enslaved and VoiVod among others, isn't all that bad of an idea, presuming that is the sound you're going for. However, for French band Sworn I can honestly say that I didn't detect too much of the above influences over the course of their four song demo EP. The music here does have a distinctly metallic crunch to it, and judging by these four compositions, they also appear to like writing songs in the ten minute range, which I'm not sure really plays in their favor, as the songs tend to meander a bit. The guitar playing, especially the well executed and tastefully melodic solos, is probably the only real highpoint here. The drum work is also decent in places, even though the production job unfortunately rendered them somewhat flat. They lack the requisite punch needed to effectively propel these songs forward, but then again even the guitars could have used some beefing up as well. This being a demo recording, some of these issues can be addressed in the final product. I'm not sure what you can do about the vocalist though, because his voice or lack of one, did absolutely nothing for me at all. One minute he's trying to sound like an alt-rock crooner, and the next minute you get death metal growls. Either one wasn't very convincing in my opinion.

It's unfortunate, because there's just not a lot that sticks out here that would really make me want to reach for this one again. There is a glint of promise, but there are also some pretty big issues that need to be addressed as well. Beefing up the sound, trimming off the fat, coming up with some memorable sounding melodies and arrangements, and losing the singer would be a great place to start.

Track Listing
1) Lunatic
2) Silent
3) Maria
4) Space

Added: March 6th 2011
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks
Related Link: Official MySpace
Hits: 1661
Language: english

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