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CD Review: ESTUARY – The Craft Of Contradiction

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Estuary   The Craft Of Contradiction

I just got a bunch of stuff in from Ibex Moon Records, and I was so ecstatic to see that all the bands had illegible logos!

ESTUARY doesn’t seem interested in being the heaviest or most brutal death metal band on the planet. What they do stand on is bringing in enough different elements together at the same time to stand on something that has it’s own unique voice.

There are lots of standard death metal-isms on “The Craft Of Contradiction”, such as blast beats, tremolo picked notes and a harsh, gruff vocal stuff that’s around the mid to low area. Sometimes those vocals are accented with a higher harmonized scream.

The guitar tone is very heavy on the mid-range, and I don’t think it’s been tuned down very low. That coupled with some old-school thrash riffs every now and then takes me back in time to SHADOWS FALL, between the era “Of One Blood” and “The Art Of Balance”. Other things you’ll find in the mix often are some 80’s styled power metal. Very rarely, a slow moment or two will give way to a harmony that old IN FLAMES might do. Those elements aren’t the base of what’s going on, instead they’re mixed in to take a break from the subtle sense of melody hidden beneath the riffs.

A song that really stood out was “Heirs To The Throne Of Fear”. With such a unique mix already going, the intro to that song had me thinking they were going to do some death metal ballad. Not quite though, as it was simply an introduction. I haven’t heard a ballad for so long, I would’ve loved to have actually heard one slightly heavier than usual ballad with death metal vocals on top. The song did end with an acoustic guitar though.

I’d like to give “The Craft Of Contradiction” a higher score, but there’s something holding it back, which is simply some catchy hooks to latch on too. With such great ideas, I was hoping the songs would really stick. That being said, ESTUARY still rises above contemporaries with their unique voice. This is one band that should be mentioned alongside other new breakout death metal bands like ABORTED. If someone like Century Media or Metal Blade is listening, sign this band!


The Official Estuary Website
Estuary at MySpace
Estuary at Ibex Moon Records

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