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What's He Building In There? - What's He Building In There? CD (album) cover


What's He Building In There?


Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.49 | 7 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'What's He Building In There?' - What's He Building In There? (5/10)

As metal starts showing signs of age as a genre, it seems that the mission of many bands in recent years has been to exploit whatever new, as-of-yet untapped sounds that have not yet been heard before within it. Falling vaguely into the metalcore style, Canadian act What's He Building In There? is certainly a band that doesn't settle with keeping a stone unturned or a note unplayed. Though with a style similar to some other bands that have emerged out of Ontario, ths band is in no shortage of energy or inventiveness when it comes to exploiting this style of music. While great on paper though, the band's formula gets a little rocky when transferred onto the recorded medium.

What's He Building In There? is a band that I might associate stylistically with more well- known acts like Protest The Hero, and Between The Buried And Me. Particularly with Protest The Hero, this band shares so many of the traits that made that band popular amongst the younger crowd; a chaotic feel, the alternating between clean and screamed vocals, and the sort of frenetic energy I would come to expect from a kindergarten classroom. What might set this band apart is the degree by which they choose to experiment; there are moments where the technical blend of metalcore is dabbled over with strange keyboard patterns and elements in the song structure that pop up seemingly out of nowhere. From a musical standpoint, I would not say all of these ideas work, although they hit home pretty well when they do turn out. The little experiments that WHBIT? put into the music are quite fortunate to be there, because had this album been left without the avant-garde nuances, we would be left with a fairly lackluster, and at times plain bad mathcore record.

I have never been a fan of mathcore in any context, although there are bands here and there that I can at least respect for their technical prowess. On a technical note, the members of this band certainly know how to play their instruments. The guitars get some very quirky riffs to work with, and the bass here is filled with a Primus-like energy to it that incorporates this vibe of funk into things. As was my big problem with Protest The Hero though, What's He Building In There is hurt bigtime by their vocals. It's not even so much the screams I am against- which are bland and mildly irritating- but the cleans. Perhaps its just my ears and a matter of my personal taste not identifying with the way the singer screeches, moans and whines (off-key, no less), but it really hurts the listen, and took a couple of unpleasant run- throughs of the album before I was able to look past them. The dirty sounding production does not help matters much either.

If What's He Building In There? was aiming to create an experimental mixed bag of an album, than they certainly achieved that much. There are things about this album- being the experimental zest and technicality- that really impress me about this band's art, and mae me want to revisit them. On the other hand, there's an equal amount of aspects to the music here that I could frankly live without. The end result? An album that has me liking it, disliking it, and leaving me with an overall lukewarm response.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |


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