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Iwrestledabearonce - It's All Happening CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.69 | 10 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
4 stars Back when I was still studying for my degree at the University and had a lot more free time on my hands, I used to play a little game where I picked a random artist on ProgArchives or any related website and look them up on Spotify. I would then be obliged to hear at least one album by that artist or band. In retrospect, I can definitely recommend this type of activity since it gave me an opportunaty to hear my different acts, especially in the Avant-garde and Tech Metal genres, that I would have otherwise completely overlooked. Surprisingly enough, this game turned out to be more of a hit than a miss for me, which is something I really wasn't expecting considering that I tend to be critical even of the more popular titles out there.

About a year ago when I played the game and stumbled on a weird sounding band called Iwrestledabearonce (or I/wrestled/a/bear/once) it felt like the group had a sense of humor so I immediately looked them up and discovered It's All Happening. The first sounds of You Ain't No Family really caught me by surprise since the description said that this was Avant-garde metal. There are a few instances where Iwrestledabearonce sound like Unexpect but the overall feel is more similar to bands like Protest The Hero and especially Between The Buried And Me. So you can definitely expect loud distorted electric guitar riffs and guttural vocals, but the new twist is that the vocalist is called Krysta Cameron! Even though I have heard other female death metal singers like Angela Gossow from Arch Enemy doing this before I still found Krysta Cameron's performance mighty impressive because she also manages to throw in a few clean vocal moments where she almost sounds like a mix between Dagmar Krause and Björk!

The opening track covers a lot of ground over its mere 4 minute course and ends with a completely unexpected Country themed outro. That's only one of the many twists that Iwrestledabearonce have in store on this debut album and the followup White Water In The Morning takes things even further with an electronic beat that comes out of nowhere half through the performance. Danger In The Manger is a personal favorite of mine because it mixes in so many different themes and styles while keeping itself at only 2:20 minute mark! Tastes Like Kevin Bacon adds a full fledged disco beat to the otherwise very heavy sounding grindcore composition but there are many other surprises further on into the track. I might as well stop my song-by-song description since I don't intend to give away all the goodies that are embedded into this heavily condensed album.

It's been almost a year since I listened to It's All Happening for the first time and the album has received quite a few revisits from me since then. The experience might be considered too short for a studio release with only 33 minutes of material to back it up, but that's actually a good thing since the album automatically invites itself on my playlist without making me want to consider whether I actually want to listen to Tech Metal at the time. It's All Happening is an excellent album that I can easily recommend to any prog rock music collection that wants to keep itself with the time and invest into some young talent. I will definitely keep my eyes and ears open for anything new that will surface from the Iwrestledabearonce camp any time in the future since this unpolished diamond can only get better from here on!

***** star songs: You Ain't No Family (3:46) Danger In The Manger (2:20) The Cat's Pajamas (3:23) See You In Shell (3:22)

**** star songs: White Water In The Morning (3:51) I'm Cold And There Are Wolves After Me (2:59) Tastes Like Kevin Bacon (3:20) Pazuzu For The Win (4:01) Black-Eyed Bush (2:28) Eli Cash Vs. The Godless Savages (3:56)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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