One of my good friends recently pointed out to me that German is essentially the linguistic equivalent of Lego. Whenever a new word is required for a freshly discovered concept or entity the Germans simply assemble a collection of adjectives describing the issue at hand and then remove the spaces between the words. Establishing a “new” word; a compound noun with all the weight of it's individual components but with added gravitas of the idea it now defines.
Metal has long been engaged in a similar attempt to codify its infinitely expanding coterie of genres by creating almost liturgical chains of words which try to nail down what sub-sub-sub-genre a bands sound warrants them being defined as belonging to.
Most of the time, this is nonsense.
Occasionally though, when the Moon shines blue on the 29th of February and a act comes along that genuinely welds genre to style and form to function, this semantic construction-ism become the only tool capable of defining the eclectic nature of this particular bands music. But more of this lexical daisy-chain later.
This is Flubs 2nd EP and their first as a complete band. Even though it is only 15 minutes long Advent is positively dripping with musical appreciation and awareness. Not just of the more prosaic elements of metal but concious of being part of a linage which extends into history.
Ostensibly working within the oeuvre of Death Metal they make music which has the power to inspire; actions, deeds and thoughts. The fact that they succeed so completely is by virtue of the obviously high level of measured study they have engaged in. Which allows them to fluidly merge musical forms both contemporary and historical.
Sometimes Metal is about being heavy, sometimes it is about dynamics, technicality or pure sonic abrasion. But this time, on the 3 songs of Advent, Flub employ Metal because of its infinitely facile nature. Fusing together the story-telling fervour of King Diamond, the tearful enchantment of Chopin, the progressive positivism of Cynic and the precise intent of Death into a swelling wave of detail orientated Melodic metal.
Flubs guitars are cunning and subtle. As contented being mellifluous and jazzy as they are intricate and progressive. Seguing from one passage to the next without recourse to troublesome trickery but with good old fashioned talent. Yes there are points at which they are quite heavy. Indeed there are dozens of punchy, groove laden riffs on Advent but one is left with the prevailing notion that weight was not the primary focus when these lines were written. That their intention was as much to beguile and entrance as it was to berate and crush. So sometimes their fecund resources drive them on from a groove that I would have liked to enjoy a little longer but learning to ration out ideas is an improving art rather than a static skill.
The drums slide in focus back and forth across the point of syncopatic emphasis. One moment supporting a charge the next at a glancing angle, providing suitably subtle shade to bathe the leading melody in the beautifying haze of rhythmic prescience. Their capability is broad and resounding. Blasts and broken beats gelled into a deep glaze of succulent support, urging on and doling out the victuals of success. Drumming isn't just about the physical skill of battering, It is often reliant on the subtleties of emphasis and creation. Jared Klein's drum parts are sweetly savvy and shine with the ease of a truly prescient craftsman behind them.
With his Black metal rasps and hardened frys Michael Alvarez is the most overtly metallic in his approach. However this is tempered by the compassionate timbre of his storytelling. Treating lyricism as a variant of the Short-story writers craft. He provides a sense of pendulous narrative, sharpened to an avaricious degree; biding its time stealthily, waiting for the apposite moment to let the Damoclean sword drop.
Lyrical content is often the least important facet of metal for me yet his lyrics seem to have become domiciled in my mind. Maybe his turn of phrase just strikes a chord with me, maybe he's a genius? Who knows? Who cares what I think, find out for yourself.
Great Songs, unique approach. They know all the chicles, so they don't have to use them. Check them out today.
Back to the beginning.
Language as a set of blocks, raising walls within which to exist. Defining our personal landscapes and terrains, creating concepts from thin air and by our deeds, inhabiting them, fuelling their life.
Flub means mistake, to me this is fortuitous and fertile. For so often We only learn by our mistakes. Minds made prolific by the guarded grace of the happy accident.
So now I will quite possibly Flub. Skating casually on the thin ice of erratum and like a German create my own compound noun. They are progressive-post-melodic-fusion-inspired-death-metal.
Most of the time, this technique is nonsense. Most of the time.
Advent is Available now from their Bandcamp site.
– John Whitmore