Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Marionette - Enemies (2009)

Marionette is another frustrating band that simply adds nothing to the table, despite the fact they have nearly every Swedish melodeath cliche covered. Aggressive vocals in the vein of At the Gates; chug laden breakdowns; melodic guitar lines to convey the glory moments; and keyboards, which range from bad techno rhythms to the more epic, symphonic feel for the chorus parts. These are all elements we've grown accustomed to, from the regrettable decision by fame hungry Swedish bands to try and please everyone.

The debut album Spite left much to be desired, and unfortunately its follow-up Enemies is in the same stagnant territory. They've got the budget, and they've got the musicians, but every time they start building something good up, they always seem to ruin it. A good example would be "Stench of the Herd", which opens with a pretty good, 'epic metal' riff and some keys...and then it quickly dissolvies into a Slipknot-style mosh rhythm, then to a Soilwork groove verse, and then the good riff is back, and then it's gone again...for more bouncy nu-metal. Are you familiar with the tragic Greek tale of Tantalus? I feel like a delicious meal is hanging, forever just beyond my reach, or a cool cup of refreshing water, and this frustration persists through almost all 13 tracks on the record, though a few of the late songs like "Through Veils" and "Their Knives" are honestly not bad.

I don't mean to give the impression that Marionette sucks, because clearly they do not. Their energy is explosive, but often misplaced in some poor decisions. If the band could kick a lot of the more generic nu-metal grooves, the weaker techno keys (the string, choir and proggish keys are equally cliche, but at least they sond good), and work on the vocals, they've got the potential to be a top shelf export. At it's best, Enemies is a more aggressive ape of Natural Born Chaos, with a few too many tricks up its sleeve.

Highlights: Through the Veil, Their Knives

Verdict: Indifference [5.5/10]


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