Sometimes I get a band across my desk that shows tons of promise but just don't seem to know how to execute it. Such is the case with Severed. They have flashes throughout this disc that are brilliant but tend to stray away from what sets them apart from the pack in the death/metalcore scene. I would hate to call it being lazy but I guess if the shoe fits…
This is a band that if they ever find themselves will do some serious damage to the competition in their genre. They are a band that is heavy as hell but also knows that melodic can co-exist with their brutal onslaught. Severed manages to dance between the two effortlessly but sometimes seem to forget that fact and resort to being just another mosh pit creator. I can understand why they want to crush you with the heaviest death metal pounding you can handle but when they decide to stay in this mode the result is very ordinary and similar to a host of other bands out there.
When they decide to blaze into new territory that is where the band really shines. The best example of this is their terrific tune "The Ultimate Power". Here they viciously flay you with as hard and brutal attack as you will ever receive before breaking into a smashing melodic, extended guitar solo that really gives you pause before they remove any remaining outer layers of skin with the finale.
Another way they create a terrific sound is the mixing of clean vocals with the growls and screams. "Envision" actually has you looking for the clean passages as the band hammers you with a brutal beginning then massages you with a lighter style. I really like how they can bring it to you in a variety of ways and most of them work very well.
By the time you get to the album closer "Seasons" there has been quite a mixed bag of very good stuff mixed in with some music that can be only classified as run-of-the-mill metal. They do send you off with another example of how they can change it up and keep you listening when they turn to a much more thrashy style of music and also clean up the growling vocals ala a band like Crematory. This combo works very well and I hope that they provide us with more of this.
These guys have a definite future and I cannot wait to see where they go from here. I am sure that the reaction to certain aspects of this disc will show them that there are many ways that they can go and a few areas that need improvement. This album is a great foundation to build on, let's just hope that they go in the right direction and quit with the trying to be a follower and lead the way into the new territories that they have tried to open up.
3. Chosen Ground
4. A Better Way
5. Real Eyes
6. My Warning
8. The Ultimate Power