F U L L . R E V I E W S
Twisted Into Form - Then Comes Affliction To Waken The Dreamer - 2006 - Sensory
I am a disagreeable, grumpy old school metal head to a fault. Raised on Cirith Ungol, Venom, Slayer, Metallica, early Voivod and Mercyful Fate, I have gravel in my guts and blood on my breath. That is not to say I am a low-brow cretin. I appreciate talent. I have been to restaurants where I needed to wear clean pants and a shirt with some buttons on it. I have "the culture," as the kids like to say. I've dined on lobster, caviar, sushi, milk-fed veal, pastured venison, antelope, flowers that you can eat without puking and all that good stuff, but having tasted food from all around the world, there is nothing I like to eat more than a hamburger.
My point? I am, at core, a meat and potatoes man. So, when I saw Twisted Into Form, I thought: "Forbidden! OLD THRASH! Hamburger!" I jumped right on it. Now, I know there are prog-heads out there that flip their lid for this stuff, but Twisted Into Form just don't do it for me. Yes, they are incredible musicians. It doesn't take an idiot to figure that out (and I know, I am an idiot and I figured it out), but the problem here is too much caviar, not enough red meat. You can be the greatest musician in the world, but if you're playing metal and the music doesn't have enough in the sack, it's like playing a game of baseball with just the bats. Yup. Not enough balls. Twisted Into Form playing metal is comparable to a master chef to your house and asking him or her to make you a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. What's the point? For the most part, the stuff isn't catchy. I can't even tell if there are choruses. So, yeah, the time signatures are all over and the bass player has that warm fretless sound that gives the jarring changes a fluid undertone. As a musician, I can appreciate this. As a metal head, I can't. If I want to hear insanely technical music, I'll put on Cynic's "Focus", Death's "Symbolic", or the stickiest of the icky--Watchtower's "Control and Resistance", albums that are not only musically ridiculous, but also heavy and catchy. Yeah, there are a few moments on Then Comes Affliction... where I hear something that does catch my ear, like the passages with Toxodeth-style growled vocals in the first minute and a half of "Manumit," and the riff about two minutes into the same tune, but they are few and far between. For the most part, I'm left unsatisfied.
Sometimes a title tells all, and with Then Comes Affliction To Waken The Dreamer we have a lukewarm, pretentious, shallow progressive metal album that, much like caviar and unlike meat and potatoes, doesn't stick to the ribs. If you are a fan of Dream Theater, Spiral Architect (the latter especially, as Twisted Into Form features two ex-members of the band) you're probably packaging up a mail bomb to send to my house right now, but just let me state for the record that I do not live at Maximum Metal, so leave those good folks out of it. If you want my address, start in the phone book at "K" and get to browsing.
--Al Kikuras 04.15.07
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