Thursday, July 30, 2015

CD Review: SEVER THIS ILLUSION Unidentified Assassins by Dave Wolff

Unidentified Assassins
Turkey Vulture Records
Sever This Illusion play melodic death metal with some thrash, groove and nu-metal added. Personally, nu metal is still my least favorite subgenre of metal due to its commercialization, however this band manage to include its heavier aspects into their formula. Unidentified Assassins sounds produced slightly too rough around the edges for the band’s influences. The material may have benefitted from at least a little polishing but overall this is a minor complaint. What struck me most about this album was the lyrical content, especially in the song introducing the album. The intro to the first track (the title cut) is a depiction of the zombie apocalypse in the form of a radio announcement. Sort of an addendum to Romero’s original Living Dead trilogy (and the second trilogy he started in the 2000s). The zombie apocalypse is still a popular theme for metal bands, one that has been done countless times. Deceased turned the idea into a metal opera in 1998 with Fearless Undead Machines. Can Sever This Illusion approach it in a new fashion? Perhaps their retelling is supposed to represent a political or religious figure who claims to have the only solution to the problem. Follow him or be damned: “I will stand firm. I will show you everything that you need to survive the plague as it spreads amongst our world.” So far this is the closest a band has come to introducing the zombie theme in metal to modern times and contemporary events, considering the Bush administration, the campaigns of religious leaders against gay marriage and the atmosphere of religious hate created by the Westboro Baptist Church. Similar sentiments appear on the following songs, such as Feast For The Eyes. Battleground, Never Back Down and Done. Headed To Colorado is a personal favorite because of lyrics supporting the legalization of pot (I’m no longer a pot smoker but I still think it should be legalized). As far as I know this band is not releasing any new recordings through Turkey Vulture but you can contact them to see about acquiring this album. -Dave Wolff