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Spineshank: Anger Denial Acceptance

I never had an ear for alternative metal so I never followed Spineshank in their earlier period. I am familiar with the basic facts--they have been nominated for a Grammy, they've sold lots of albums, they've reunited after some time apart--but, beyond those things, I'm fairly ignorant. I get the impression that Anger Denial Acceptance is coming out with a certain amount of trepidation among fans and general listeners alike; alternative metal, after all, is really something of the past, a past that some fans don't want to revisit under any circumstances. For those who still want to hear this sound, this summer has been unusually kind. There have been a few releases from bands that are doing similar things musically (see, for example, Rise to Remain, Architects, and others). With these new voices in place, Spineshank has more to prove if they want to remain a viable force in the marketplace.

Anger Denial Acceptance is a workmanlike release that purports to treat the stages of grieving (at least that's the impression I get from the song titles and subtitles). It doesn't do enough with the stages and, in my view, isn't interesting enough to make these themes into a viable concept. The songwriting and performing are competent, some of the hooks are even engaging, but there isn't much here that hasn't been done before. Is there someone I can talk to about my weariness with the alternating clean / dirty vocals? Instead of the music, I was far more interested in the title of the album because of its invocation of the stages of grief. With this concept (of sorts) in tow, the band could have developed a really interesting thematic release, something that would make the album into an exploration of psychological states. This band is quite good at anger (aren't all such bands) but they fall short when they turn their attention to the subtleties of states like acceptance. Indeed, the album takes us to acceptance only in the final track. Given the fact that this album calls attention (in subtitles to certain songs) to these three states of grief, I was honestly surprised that it didn't do more to explore these states musically. Sadly, the only acceptance I felt was the sense that this wasn't a terribly engaging release.

If memory serves, "Murder-Suicide" premiered as a potential single. It has a catchy chorus, but I can't imagine anybody really wanting to sing along.

Track Listing:
1. After the End
2. Nothing Left for Me
3. Anger Denial Acceptance
4. I Want You to Know
5. Murder-Suicide
6. The Endless Disconnect
7. I am Damage
8. Ploratio Morbus
9. Everything Everyone Everywhere
10. God Complex (Anger)
11. The Reckoning
12. Motive Method Opportunity (Denial)
13. Exit Wound (Acceptance)

Added: July 18th 2012
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Myspace Page
Hits: 2082
Language: english

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