SANDTROUT – In Depthless Nowhere
Latvian goofballs SANDTROUT have been around since 2006, and they just released their first full-length album, In Depthless Nowhere, this year. According to their Facebook, they released a demo in 2007 and an EP in 2010, neither of which I had the pleasure of hearing. Another factoid I discovered from their Facebook is that they play “metal/hardcore” (uh oh) and their big influences are KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, DEVILDRIVER, SHADOWS FALL, DESPISED ICON, AS BLOOD RUNS BLACK, ANIMOSITY, SUICIDE SILENCE, and LAMB OF GOD (UH OH!!). I’ve never been less stoked to review something.
In Depthless Nowhere opens with “The Eternal Order”, and the trendiness begins. I’d call SANDTROUT a fairly even mixture of metalcore, groove metal, and modern melodic death metal. When we get to track three, the title track, SANDTROUT even introduces some elements of deathcore. I don’t know… this stuff almost sounds like what would happen if INCUBUS (no, not the good INCUBUS) or PUDDLE OF MUDD tried to play something heavy. The clean vocals especially sound like something out of a 90s alt-rock band. The metalcore/deathcore influences become even more apparent as the album continues, with “Rigidly Vicious” and “Wake Up!”, only this stuff is somehow even worse because of these fucking vocals. There are some points where we’re almost just sitting in mediocre melodic death metal territory, like the end of “Voices of Despair” and parts of “Deception”, but it hardly makes up for every other aspect of this release.
In Depthless Nowhere is an over-polished and emotionless train wreck. There is nothing heavy or authentic about anything here. Call me an elitist, whatever… I don’t care. I just don’t dig this kind of stuff at all. Taking something pure and real and turning it into something that you could get away with playing at a Christian youth camp just seems wrong. This is shit that suburban dads listen to while blowing off steam at the gym. Everything here is weak – weak vocals, weak guitars, weak everything. Metal? Where’s the heavy?? I’m sorry guys… I don’t want to personally insult you. If you like this stuff, you’re not less of a person or anything, but god damn… I can’t stand this.
I know at least one overly observant person is going to ask why I trashed this album and was nice to MONO INC. Well, the fact is that MONO INC were doing their thing and not hurting anyone in the process. SANDTROUT are an affront to metal. Hell, they are an affront to hardcore. What the hell is “hardcore” about this, anyway? Have you heard NEGATIVE APPROACH? CRO-MAGS? GG ALLIN? D.R.I.? Get out of here with that, man. AVOID.
– Zac C. Dendinger
Standout tracks: N/A