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Menace: Impact Velocity

I like the way the promotional materials describe this album. Mitch Harris, who performs the vocals in addition to playing guitar and synthesizer, explains that the album is "a statement, a way of saying that there is always a way forward, no matter how difficult it seems." Much of the album's lyrics come from Harris's own experiences, good and bad, and generally serve as a reflection on the nature of human life. Lyrically, things are actually pretty interesting. I don't know all the words, but what I do hear sounds an awful lot like reflections on love and loss, increased understanding of the self, and so on. I'm sure I don't know all the themes at work here, but I can certainly relate to things like "I Live With Your Ghost" or even the despair of "I Won't See the Sun."

The most challenging thing that most listeners will experience is that Menace does not sound like a typical extreme metal band with a threatening name. If anything, the menace here is the possibility that not all good music comes from the most extreme places. Musically, this album is a little slower and a little mellower than I would have expected. There's a slight Mastodon-like vibe here, but it lacks their charging energy. The music here has more of a progressive rock / melodic rock feel, the kind that allows melodies to grow and develop. Sure, there's some dissonance and some rough edges, but things stay pretty mid-tempo here. This will surprise listeners who know Harris best from the blistering music of Napalm Death. My advice: forget about Harris's other projects and just listen to this one from start to finish. If you don't like it, at least you've given it a go.

My own response to the album is mixed. I enjoyed the tracks that had a science fiction quality to them—things like "Positron," "Malicious Code," and so on. I also really liked the bonus track "Insult to Injury" but was disappointed that the most musically exciting track was saved for last. Still, this is the kind of album that grows with each listen. Give it a shot. It will be interesting to see where things go with Menace in the future.

Track Listing:
1. I Live with Your Ghost
2. Painted Rust
3. Multiple Clarity
4. To the Marrow
5. I Won't See the Sun
6. Drowning in Density
7. Positron
8. Everything and Nothing
9. Within Context
10. Malicious Code
11. Impact Velocity
12. Seamless Integration
13. Insult to Injury (Bonus Track)

Added: June 19th 2014
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2559
Language: english

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