Pretty lame and bad sounding nu metal knock off…
There are bands where a quick look at a few live pictures and the general artwork is enough to get an idea of which train they want to jump on. Italians SLUG CHOP are just such a case, with their golden masks and general demeanor the sextet are clearly riding the footsteps of the SLIPKNOT railway. The only question that remains is whether the debut “Face Yourself” is musically an equally obvious imitation of the American nu metal superstars.
Luckily that’s not the case, though, because while the Iowa mask men did make their mark in the heavier moments, overall I’d rate SLUG CHOP as melodic Alternative Metal with a decent Nu-Metal twist, sporadic crossover influences and a few LACUNA Classify COIL excursions. The troupe from southern Europe can’t keep up with the greats of the respective genres, because overall “Face Yourself” doesn’t really come across as well-rounded and well-seasoned over the entire distance. So the sextet does have some good ideas up its sleeve and individual moments always make you sit up and take notice, but all in all none of the nine tracks can be described as a real highlight.
The best is the opener ‘Cover It Black’, which has at least a few cool guitar leads and a decent hook line in its luggage. And yes, ‘Sink’ can also partially convince with its wild ride between LIMP BIZKIT and DISTURBED and makes me sit up and take notice, at least for a short time. The rest of the disc suffers mainly from some latent flaws in the songwriting and a sound that would at best be appropriate for a demo. The drums mostly sound quite flat and pressureless, the guitars never have the necessary presence in the mids and in general you have the feeling that the entire production is covered with a thick woolen blanket that buries all highs and dynamics under it. In retrospect, I can’t really judge whether the singing also suffers from the poor preparation in the post-processing, or whether it was not sung with the necessary conviction during the recording.
What is certain, however, is that “Face Yourself” has turned out to be just a weak Nu-Metal disc, which still lacks independence and quality in almost every respect. It is to be hoped that with a little more experience the sextet will find an identity of their own and be blessed with a better production next time, because in its current form this disc will probably only resonate within the band’s orbit.
- Tobias Dahs