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Random Mullet - Capturing Moments CD (album) cover

CAPTURING MOMENTS

Random Mullet

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.09 | 2 ratings

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VanVanVan
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The download of this release that Random Mullet offers on their website comes tagged as "Hybrid Metal," and I think that's a fairly apt descriptor. While snippets of this album, taken by themselves, might convince you that this is nothing more than straightforward technical metal, other sections taken alone could convince you that that this is a Porcupine Tree- esque modern prog band. The impressive part, of course, is that these varying styles often occur within the same song, and that none of the tracks feel over-busy or forced. This is a really excellent release, and one that ought not to go under your radar if you enjoy this kind of dynamic, often frenzied style of music.

"Stalenova" begins with some electronics before pounding guitar and drums enter in a rhythmically complex combination of riffs and mini-solos. An excellent combination of growled and clean vocals appear in the track as well, and there's a very good combination of melody and bone-crushing technical metal. There's really an incredibly varied sound here, with touches of symphonic metal and even avant-garde music appearing, all played with seemingly equal ease. The song concludes with a remarkably tender vocal/piano duet.

Frenetic drums lead into the next track "Random Mullet," which begins with another crushing tech-metal onslaught. Low, fast, riffs and growled vocals could almost begin to convince the listener that this is nothing more than standard death metal, but my oh my how wrong that would be. The first clue comes from an almost circus sounding horn part, and the track totally takes a left turn with the gothically symphonic, very melodic clean vocal section in the middle of the track. From there, the track almost approaches jazz material, with a variety of solos played over a percussion part. To be honest this second half of the track reminds me quite a bit of Leprous (in a positive way), another eclectic metal band that's been getting a lot of press recently.

"Leaving Pictures" starts off quite differently, with some spacey ambience beginning the track before a piano/vocal part that's quite reminiscent of Opeth's softer moments (or even perhaps Porcupine Tree) enters. However, there's another jazzy horn part that helps set this track apart. It's after this that the first hints of metal begin to enter the track, though the guitar riff that comes in is far more reminiscent of post-metal than extreme. There's a really excellent synth solo as well, and really, on the whole, this track has far more in common with straight progressive rock than it does with anything resembling tech-metal. Random Mullet's versatility is certainly to be admired.

"Clown Bipolar," however, immediately tosses aside these softer moments and goes fully into an avant-garde, extreme metal freak out. Featuring incredibly complex riffing and intense, aggressive vocals (both growled and clean), the opening section of the song certainly lives up to the imagery invoked by its title. There are some brief acoustic sections in the middle of the track that again remind one of Opeth, as well as a bizarre, sort of honky- tonk piano section that actually works surprisingly well. Even in the sections that feel like pure aural onslaught there's still strong melodies, and that makes the track very listenable despite its decidedly extreme aesthetic.

"Bad Blood" begins with a riff that I think has some resemblance to Dream Theater circa Train of Thought. This is no clone, however, as "Bad Blood" quickly delves into a growled section before launching into another almost surprisingly melodic clean vocal line. It's rather rare, I think, to find an extreme metal band who can pull off pure melodies as well as Random Mullet does, especially on this track. Traces of Leprous can again be found here, but Random Mullet blends so many different influences together that they certainly can't be accused of sounding too similar to any one group. There's even a soft, orchestrated section that recalls some modern symphonic prog. A crazy keyboard solo closes off the track and "Bad Blood" ends up being a definite highlight of the album.

"Capturing Moments" is another track that begins softly, with a spare acoustic guitar part and some dark, atmospheric orchestration. There's more jazzy horn playing and surprisingly tender vocals that make this a very pretty song, all told. The track culminates in a gorgeous, piano accompanied guitar solo that's almost a bit Floydian, which proves to be quite a satisfying end for the song and the album as a whole.

Overall, Capturing Moments comes off sounding remarkably fresh in a genre that can at times seem to be filled with clones. Fans of Pain of Salvation, Leprous and Opeth, and even perhaps Unexpect will find plenty to like here, I expect, and, with a short running time and such strong melodies, this might even be a good introduction for those looking to expand their musical palette to more extreme sounds. A very good release, and certainly a band I need to explore further.

4/5

VanVanVan | 4/5 |

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