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At War With Self - Acts Of God CD (album) cover

ACTS OF GOD

At War With Self

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.35 | 15 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Acts of God" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US, Indiana based progressive rock/metal act At War With Self. The album was released through Free Electric in April 2007. At War With Self was founded in 2002 by multi-instrumentalist Glenn Snelwar (also known for his work with Gordian Knot) and is essentially a one-man project. Glenn Snelwar handles guitars, mandolin, bass, keyboards, E-Bow, programming and vocals on "Acts of God", but he is helped out by a couple of guest musicians too.

The music on "Acts of God" continues the progressive rock/metal style of "Torn Between Dimensions (2005)", but is ultimately a rather different sounding release. Itīs still predominantly instrumental progressive rock/metal with dynamic use of clean/acoustic guitars, keyboards and occasionally heavier guitar parts and solos. The big difference here is in the drum department, where only some tracks feature "real" drums. On most of the tracks the drums are programmed, and as a consequence the music loses some of itīs otherwise organic sound (the sound production is actually more organic than the case was on the debut album). The drums sound like they are programmed (although Iīm told thatīs actually not the case) which also makes the whole listening experience less band oriented and more one-man project sounding (it was the other way around on the debut album).

The music style is very hard to describe correctly as there are elements from jazz rock/fusion, progressive rock/metal, instrumental guitar music, ambient/atmospheric new age and latin music, featured on the album among other things.

As mentioned above "Acts of God" is predominantly an instrumental release, but there are actually quite a few vocal tracks on the album too, which is good for the variation of the album. Itīs obvious that Glenn Snelwar is a skilled musician and everything is delivered with tight precision and with the right amount of adventurous ideas, but the compositions themselves are for the most part slightly unremarkable. "Acts of God" is pleasant and interesting enough while it plays, but the material generally doesnīt stick, and thatīs a bit of an issue. Even the vocal tracks just plod along without any recognisable hooks or memorable choruses.

Just like the case was on the debut album, I find myself listening for technical details and other performance related features, instead of just enjoying the music for what it is, and thatīs always a sure sign that the actual compositions lack something. Itīs not a terrible release by any means, but itīs not really great either, so a 3 star (60%) rating isnīt all wrong.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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