In The Guise Of Men


Written by: SC on 22/08/2013 21:28:43

When the physical copy of In The Guise Of Men debut EP “INK” popped into my letterbox I was not quite sure whether it was a commercial flyer or what to expect. The cover is a rectangular piece of cardboard you can fold open once with the cd disc placed inside. No tracklist, no nothing, just the band’s name, a grey hand spread out on a black background and then the cd disc inside. Exciting! Afterwards when trying to find a tracklist I had to search for approximately three days or so to find the damn thing. Just as annoying as it was searching, the overall experience of the album also ended up being quite a challenge, which supported the mystery of the package quite well. Fortunately, after the inconvenience of finding the tracklist and the excitement the packaging, the musical side proved to be just as complex.

Opening track “Suicide Shop” is a beast of a song. Something new is happening all the time. Weird staccato riffs and mini solos rumble in every direction, like a big truck driving down a trackless gravel road. You are being shaken in new directions constantly and it is almost too much, yet only ever almost. The constant chaos is so intense in this world of nu-metal, like a mix of Korn, with their heavy bass-driven grooves, and djent/tech metal like Meshuggah, with their crooked changes in speed and sound, that one needs to really focus on to keep track of. Mainly growling vocals are used, which stresses the dark and manic atmosphere, however, the lead singer also does some clean vocals and some shouting like on the track “Drowner”. This alternation in sound supports the soundscape quite well. His style recalls the early Killswitch Engage-era where lead singer Jesse Leach did not handle his vocals to perfection. It is the same kind of thing that is going on here and just like Leach, it fits rather fine. I often chastise clean vocals due to imperfection; however, in this case it turns out rather charming and humanizing without it being terrible.

Overall I really dig this release due to the extreme sound and the boldness to play as brittle as In The Guise Of Men do. But as “INK” goes on, the ferocity slowly dampens and the nu-metal starts to dominate due to the heaviness, which weakens the overall impression. The edge of the knife seems to become a bit blunt and the extravaganza starts to lean towards the more trivial. Yet, with this acid reflux, In The Guise Of Men has released a really interesting and boundary-challenging first release. I am personally really intrigued and hope that these French guys returns with full force soon.

Download: Suicide Shop, Violent Overthrow, Sale Paradise
For The Fans Of: Meshuggah, Korn, Killswitch Engage

Release Date 13.04.2013

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