Destrage – Are You Kidding Me? No Review

Originally written by Chris Redar

Destrage’s Are You Kidding Me? No is an identity crisis if there ever was one. What are you going for here, dudes? Strapping Young Lad? Amon Amarth? Opeth? Pitchshifter? Linkin Park? Every UFC-core AND djent band ever? Huge echoes of these acts and many more are present from the onset and persistent throughout the entirety of this Italian quintet’s third full-length. And that’s not even counting some outright riff-jacking and structure borrowing.

It’s entirely possible for none of this to present a problem, however. Let’s face it: it’s all been done. Go to your little collection of music and take the 2014 releases thus far. Now, find the one that is reinventing music as we know it. I’ll wait.

(six hours pass)

(faint rustling from other room can be heard)

(exasperated sighs audibly exhaled)

Back so soon, traveler? I see your hands are empty (as well as sweaty and pruned up for some reason). ‘Twas a fool’s errand, you see! The only return was a lesson learned about the true nature of sound!

The other, and one could argue much more important, lesson is this: Are You Kidding Me? No is like being a cartographer as opposed to a globetrotter. As in, drawing a map to different metal locations is a lot less fun than visiting those destinations one at a time.

Opener “Destroy Create Transform Sublimate” starts out with some space-age widdly straight out of the G3 DVD before Paulo Colavolpe begins aping Heavy Devy behind the mic. Doesn’t sound too bad, actually. Even follows a nice verse-chorus-verse pattern for a bit. Then at the 2:30 mark, things begin to mutate. Does Chester Bennington live near the studio or something? There’s no way that isn’t ol’ CheBe belting out this typically angsty whine-over-acoustic section. And what’s this? Looks like we’re being treated to a little medley from our dear friends The Monolith Deathcult (see 4:05)! Oh, joyous day! And a drum break straight off of www. takes us home.

“Purania,” number two of the ten tracks offered, introduces a bothersome element to the already somewhat dire outlook for Destrage: 808 bass drops. Did we not learn this lesson from Victory’s entire roster circa ’04-’10, gentlemen? Though it must be mentioned that with the exception of a dumb little rockabilly break, this is probably the most solid track. The part where they jack “The Leper Affinity” during the solo sounds like a completely different band, though the name of that band is escaping me at the moment…

Peaking at track number two doesn’t bode well for the duration. At the risk of sounding unprofessional, the rest of this album is fuckin’ dumb.

Some of that dumb is good dumb, and some of that is absolute mystery flavor Dum Dum shit. A “good dumb” would be “My Green Neighbour,” a thrashy and upbeat number that is either an ode to zombie elimination or a condemnation of zombie phenomena. The title track is definitely of the sucker variety for completely overstaying its welcome and stinking up your loveseat in the process. Almost eight minutes of nothing. Pick a place and go there, Title Track, because you sure as shit can’t stay here.

The early verdict here was to recommend this as a “sideshow attraction” kind of thing. This many elements among this many minutes (nearly fifty) has to be at least interesting, right? Unfortunately, that just isn’t the case. It certainly is a carnival attraction, but it’s not the guy who swallows swords and then shits fire. It’s the ring toss game. The one where even after you spend thirty-five bucks to win, you end up with a goldfish in a plastic bag that won’t survive the ride home.

Please. Don’t kill any goldfish.

Posted by Old Guard

The retired elite of LastRites/MetalReview.

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