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Sept. 15 - 22, 2000

[Music Reviews]

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*** Drowningman



Burlington (Vermont) metalcore mavens Drowningman have been keeping busy since leaving Boston's Hydrahead Records for punk stronghold Revelation last year. The winter's How They Light Cigarettes in Prison EP signaled a refinement in their kitchen-sink approach to song structure: the pretty melodies were more pronounced than ever, and the metal riffage was more extreme.

On their first Revelation full-length, the band continue in the same direction, grafting the insane double-barrel guitar assault and sick tempo changes of Converge and Dillinger Escape Plan onto singer Simon Brody's finely wrought ramblings of despair and hate. Brody's song titles are something of a joke (he named one of the most memorable tracks on the disc "Last Week's Minutes from the Meeting of the Secret Society of Your Friends Who Actually Hate You"), but his lyrics are dead serious. "Softest words ever spoke/Aimed like a gun at the back of my throat," he sings on the aforementioned tongue twister, making sweet noise out of his twin obsessions, homicide and heartbreak. It's emo in its vulnerability, aggro in its rage -- like Korn but with chops and credibility. And though you could almost accuse Drowningman of settling into a pattern at this point, it's hard to fault them for sticking with one of the most exhilarating sounds in the world of hardcore.

-- Sean Richardson
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