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Strung Out
Exile In Oblivion
Fat Wreck Chords
www.strungout.com


Strung Out creates some beautiful pieces and changes that don't create the end result they probably would have hoped for. For a hard-ish rock band that sounds like a mellowed down 12 Stones, they do a lot of things right, but the final product doesn't seem to be equal to the sum of its parts.

Technically this album is perfect, the production is first class and there are some truly brilliant sections that appear. The drums are relentless, guitars balance each other nicely and the vocals use some nice effects including well-placed backing and effective throat growls. Normally I hate those throaty yells that appear on different albums, but here I have to give Strung Out kudos for not overusing this tired fetish, and moreover utilizing them to such a degree that they enhance the album and are actually interesting. The changes are well-timed and show a good producer behind the scenes, as bits and parts shine to the surface, that are truly memorable and worth it.

Ultimately though, these snippets can't carry the entire record. The drums are too persistent across the record; they don't vary enough, the guitars are too sporadic, and end up looking blasé as the album progresses, and the vocal processing was interesting in the beginning but wears thin to an annoying level at the end.

What I end up with is an album that is correct, but lacks heart and soul to drive it to the next level.

-bishop

Track listing:

1) Analog
2) Blueprint of the Fall
3) Katatonia
4) Her Name in Blood
5) Angeldust
6) Lucifermotorcade
7) Vampires
8) No Voice of Mine
9) Anna Lee
10) Never Speak Again
11) Skeletondanse
12) Scarlet
13) Swan Dive
The Misanthropic Principle


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