Originally written by Chris Redar
Paris, France’s Whyzdom is the kind of project that would happen if six strangers answered one of those “MUST HAVE PRO GEAR” ads that are always littering the bulletin board at Guitar Center. It was a shock, to say the least, to discover that Symphony For A Hopeless God is the band’s third full-length, as every performer sounds like they are auditioning for a band that isn’t Whyzdom. Now, it’s easy to punch down at this kind of stuff—symphonic metal is a pretty specific style for a pretty specific audience, and most outside parties find this kind of thing cheesy and ultimately pointless.
It’s also fun, so let’s get back to the punching. This thing clocks in at just shy of a fortnight. Apparently the solution to writing a sub-standard and chemistry-free mess of an album is more of that, according to Whykid Whyzdom here. If a sitcom (The Big Bang Theory, which sucks, for example) is god-awful and unwatchable for thirty seconds, much less thirty minutes, adding another thirty minutes to that isn’t going to save it. If anything, it ends up an exhausting exercise in masochism, and Symphony Of A Hopeless God is exactly that. One song stands out as a masterclass in editing prowess, being trimmed down to a less-horrible four minutes of mana-tapping nerdery. Beyond that, expect anywhere from six to nearly eight minutes of two keys on a keyboard being pressed combined with those sixteenth-notes on the double kick that let you know the drummer can afford a fancy pedal, but didn’t feel the need to try it out before he hit the studio. A well-tuned ear could probably hear the price tag hit the head on the backstroke.
Quite a bit of this sounds like it was picked up from the cutting floor of the recording session for Coal Chamber’s debut. The atonal chugga-chugga of the guitars only seems like it’s there as a harsh reminder that this is indeed a metal album, and almost all of the material would fare better without it. If material is going to be this geeky—themes range from burning witches to The Garden of Eden to magic spells, or some shit—it needs to be either technically impressive or passionate. And aside from the introductory acoustic strum on “The Mask,” which is disappointingly not about Jamie Kennedy, every single second of this is as flat and uninteresting as the second before it. And to boot, vocalist Marie Rouyer seems more interested in being able to sing than singing the material presented. There are several points where she sounds like she’s kind of winging it, like the PA in the studio bottomed out. Not a good look for a band trying to get by on having a great vocalist in lieu of writing songs.
Whatever the aim was on Symphony For A Hopeless God, Whyzdom missed it by a spectacular margin. Or maybe they hit it dead-on and French culture is just that esoteric to a filthy American that works at a scummy refinery. Either way, it would behoove the members of the band to return to eating sun-drenched grapes directly off of the vineyard vine and snacking on crème brulee straight off of the tree rather than upsetting the delicate balance of these poor ears again.