Through Acknowledgement Only

Written by: AP on 25/03/2011 23:18:53

Few bands in Denmark have dared make a stake at metalcore in its most basic form. There are plenty of bands practicing the style, but true to Danish tradition nothing can be simple, straightforward or immediate. There seems to be an overwhelming mentality here, which dictates that music must be challenging in order to be good, while all things accessible are shunned as mainstream (in the negative sense of the word). No wonder then, that most Danish bands never break the domestic boundaries. But, and there's always a but, Process, a recent entrant to the scene, aims to not fall victim to such perils. Behold the band's debut album, "Through Acknowledgement Only" - the art of not sounding Danish.

Indeed, the closest regional peers that come to mind from the darkened metalcore of Process are Contrition and Clockwork Protocol. But the real meat has wisely been imported from pastures far away, with Turkish surprisers Since Yesterday and Hungarian heavyweights Bridge to Solace providing a far more essential influence. In "Detached from Life" in particular, there is a strong collation to the former, featuring your standard fare staccato riff as a backbone to a wealth of instantly memorable lead parts, prodigious solo work and a delayed chorus which sends chills down my spine. Whether or not it awakens such sentiments in everyone is a matter of preference, because the clean vocals are somewhat unorthodox. Suffice it to say, if Volbeat ever needed a stand-in for Michael Poulsen, Lennarth Christensen of Process would be number one on the list of candidates.

But despite venturing into similar territory on "Fatality", albeit with a strong Southern flavor to the singing this time, Process have taken care not to over-indulge on crowd pleasing singles. "The Scars Remain", "Through Acknowledgement Only" and "Human Sacrifice" add more extreme colors to the palette, venturing into venomous modern thrash terrain like Sylosis with a less imposing repertoire of riffs. With the exception of the last mentioned, black metal influenced progressive monument, however, the outcome is somewhat trivial, as the two prior have little to offer by way of novelty or hooks, and feel rather like necessary contrast for the bigger, better songs on offer. "Reason to Resist", too, passes by without much ado - although it does sport a grippingly choking intensity akin to the late Viatrophy. The clean vocals make a welcome, if slightly less impactful, return with "Turning Pale" before returning to their most refined format for a final time on the punishing conclusion, titled "Layers of Deception".

Process have harnessed here a potent metalcore sound that the Brits and Americans in particular will rejoice, provided "Through Acknowledgement Only" succeeds in shipping over there. It has its cosmetic flaws and intermittent misfires, but for once the focus is on a functional structure held afloat by Lennarth's powerful clean voice in carefully chosen sections. His harsh vocals - a curious amalgamation of deranged high and low pitch, seasoned with a dusting of hardcore - are no less impressive; and let's not discredit the phenomenal instrumental work courtesy of guitarists Anders Møller Pedersen and Mario Mrsic, bassist and backing vocalist Paul Thomassen, and drummer Mads Lauridsen, either. Process have a good understanding of the fine balance between accessibility and extremity - now all that's needed is consistency.

Download: Detached From Life, Fatality, Human Sacrifice
For the fans of: Bridge to Solace, Contrition, Since Yesterday, Sylosis
Listen: Myspace

Release date 30.11.2010
Gateway Music

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