State of Negation: Project Payback

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State of Negation: Project Payback
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State of Negation: Project Payback
Metalcore, Thrash Metal
Self-release
February 1st, 2013
Release length: 22:19
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Hailing from Haarlem, Netherlands, State of Negation is a five piece Thrash/Metalcore group that formed back in 2010. Back in February of 2013, they recorded their debut EP Project Payback, and have since made it available through Bandcamp as a “name your price” download with two bonus tracks including the audio to a music video for the song “Corruption.” With their next effort District Unknown looming in the shadows to be released sometime this November, it’s time to take a look at that first outing and see what this band brings to the table, and if you really should get excited for what’s to come.

Project Payback kicks things off on a familiar technical and infectious note thanks to the title track hitting the listener with tight chords that carry a coating of modern thrashier Goatwhore. The audio quality is pretty crisp, but slightly restrained, keeping the bite of the faster material from being as powerful as it more than likely is when performed live. The breakdown is a bit thin, but still suits the song overall, incorporating some growls and squeals out of nowhere that keep it intriguing enough until the more melodic riffs of the chorus kick back in. “Concussioned,” however, is a far more hostile track with riffs darker than those on the deeper tune “The Light,” a song far more suiting to the pig squeals in the breakdown. “Concussioned” also leaves behind the intricacies in the guitars for energetic hooks you’ll instinctively bang your head along to.

And then there’s the two bonus tracks, and they clearly are not from the same recording session. “Hades” is close enough to it though, but a little less crisp, finding the bass a little louder in the mix to give the song a stronger backbone, especially in the chugging passage about two minutes in. This adds a nice edge to the hostility on display, but no quite as much as “Corruption,” which sounds like a raw live recording. While the sleek audio quality of the four songs that make up the EP sounds great, this rougher approach captures the band’s energy much better, allowing the guitars to come through loud and commanding, accentuating the bass perfectly, even making the drums stand out more with a sharper click to the bass kicks. The vocals find a strong echo effect all around, though more obvious when whispered prior to and during the Ill Nino-esque groove heavy breakdown.

Project Payback is far from anything really unique, but is still one hell of a good time. There’s a great deal of adrenaline on display, and the sleek audio quality helps make the solid mixture of technicality and melody hard to resist banging your head to. The only complaint to be had is that, while this release has a good production quality, the impact of the material is a little less than it should be. One this is certain though, and its that State of Negation is one of those bands that you’ll enjoy more live than from the studio. With this EP available as a name your price download, you simply can’t go wrong adding to your digital collection of music files.

01. Project Payback – 3:55
02. The Light – 3:37
03. Concussioned – 3:51
04. Visum Veritas – 3:57

Bonus Tracks:
05. Hades – 2:45
06. Corruption (Music Video Version) – 4:14

Initial Pressing Score: 8/10

State of Negation
State of Negation

Digital review copy of this release provided by State of Negation.