November 21st, 2000
Release length: 29:06
Well, what we have here is a decent album that suffers from the traditional gripes of independent debut releases. Troubleshooting Death has some rather impressive music on it, but the main faults are the production quality, and the vocals. The guitars and drums sound fine, with the exception of the snare drum sounding rather hollow and clashing against the cymbols and bass kicks. It is noticeable in the track “Dawn Of Dark Skies”, but aside that, unless you’re paying very close attention, you probably won’t really notice it too often. The quality of the album itself sounds somewhat hollow as well, which could be the reason for the vocals being as redundant as they are. The vocalist doesn’t really do much aside just scream at the same tone through the album, and when he does seem to change up the tone, you can tell it’s a little bit of a strain, as if it was a screw up no one caught before the final pressing of the album was issued.
The music on Troubleshooting Death is pretty good, to be honest. While some of the songs will sound as if they are the same thing over time, some of the tracks, such as “Exploiting The Human opportunity” and “Screened In” will stand out with how fast and heavy the music is. The vocals on “Screened In” are actually a little different from the rest of the album too, sounding more natural then the higher pitched shouts that will get irritating after a while. The breakdowns found on this release are perhaps the best part of this album, as they are just tenacious and flow as if they are just another part of the song instead of a sudden drop in the tempo of the music, abruptly stopping the fluid-like flow of the music itself. And if you’re unsure about this release because of the vocals, the two main songs on this album that really stand out and are worth your time are “Lignum Vitae” for the music, as well as “White Walls Reap Black Figures” for the music being catchy as hell, but also the way the vocals are performed being in a catchy manner for some of the song including the start.
So, if the production quality of this release were better, it would have been a stand out independent release. The music on this album is rather impressive, but the vocals seem to cloud up much of the music due to the fact that it stays the same pitch much of the release. If you happen to enjoy the hardcore and/or metalcore scene, if you can find a used copy of this for a few bucks, it’s worth checking out. Otherwise, sample a few songs on MP3 download sites and purchase the tracks you like, as it may be cheaper and more worthwhile that way.
01. Exploiting The Human Opportunity – 3:43
02. Dawn Of Dark Skies – 4:32
03. Troubleshooting Death – 4:27
04. Screened In – 2:51
05. Lignum Vitae – 4:10
06. White Walls Reap Black Figures – 3:09
07. Pretty Noise – 3:32
08. Human Head – 2:42
|Overall Score: 4/10
Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.