Car Bomb - W^w^^w^w
Five years ago, Car Bomb came along and blew me away. Centralia was a visceral reimagining of extreme metal, a shifting, serpentine thing that I knew would never be fully appreciated by the teeming masses. I had claimed Centralia to be as unique a musical experience as one could find, and I stand by that statement today. Today, we have available to us w^w^^w^w, Car Bomb's first album since that groundbreaking debut. Released and produced entirely independent of 3rd-party support, the record looks to build upon the impressive foundation of years of heavy touring and supporting established acts across the globe.
Initially, I was taken back by the first few tracks. "The Sentinel" leaves no room whatsoever for pleasent reintroduction, blazing forward out of the gate with razor-sharp riffs and some of the most precise percussion work this side of jazz. Being one of the band's myriad of influences, many of the structures and textures throughout the record are reminiscent of the more technical side of jazz, fusing rhythm and aggression together in a heady brew. "Auto-Named" is a short, blunt assault to the senses, and "Finish It" somehow manages to ease up just enough to be considered "accessible", relatively speaking. Of course, the entire record is easily digested by myself and certainly by those fans of "math-metal" and the more technically demanding blends of metal in general. Car Bomb are in no position to be labeled as this or that and, other than calling them an extremely talented band, there's no need to pigeonhole. The rest of the record is highly impressive, perhaps the most notable portions being "Third Revelation" and it's guest, Joe Duplantier (Gojira) and the undeniably catchy "This Will Do The Job".
Something may have changed with me personally over the past five years, or maybe it's simply the material itself, but something doesn't totally click with w^w^^w^w like it did with Centralia so long ago. There's no doubt it's a polished, perfected and beautifully chaotic experience, and I can't fault it for anything in particular, but the fact remains that it does not engage me as I was expecting it to. I'd rather blame myself than Car Bomb for that, however; this is one massive and monsterous effort that should be heard by any self-respecting metalhead.
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