The Pessimist Hangs the Optimist – Relief (Track Review)

The Pessimist Hangs the Optimist just released a new track entitled ‘Relief’.

‘Relief’ shows the band continuing to explore their style of sludgy dirges made up of the same intense songwriting and crushing riffs and chords found on their debut EP, ‘You See All Kinds of Things When You Are the Only One Awake’. The guitar tone is once again ridiculously heavy with a lot of low end that makes for a very muddy tone which may be a negative aspect for some but I think it is a good stylistic difference that separates their sound from the hundreds of other bands they share the scene with. The vocals transition in a smooth almost unnoticed way between a sort of half baked yell and full fledged screaming; lots of emotion here. This band’s ear for composition and steady pacing between these frequent short burst of aggression and small pockets of breathing room are what really makes this song work for me. When looking back at their debut EP ‘Relief’ isn’t anything new in terms of being different from their previous material but it is a good tune nonetheless.

Recommended: Melancholic sludge influenced sounds. Circle Takes the Square

Released: 19 February 2012

Links: Listen here


Onde Natur – Cowards

Basically, a good metal EP, quite a bit blackened and pending towards doom, but with strong sludge influence as well in some sections. You’ll find a healthy dose of structure and variation, even though the doom/blackened aspect of it makes it more oriented towards focusing on a general oppressive atmosphere. Basically that means that, if you want that awesome metal listening experience, you’ll get it, but if you pay attention to what’s going on, you won’t get bored either.

Nothing overly complex though. Synths and vocal processing are used to make up for that with an extra atmospheric push. The riffs are heavy as fuck, as usual.

Now something about the lyrics – as present in the bandcamp page of course, I can’t understand shit the guy is actually singing. Some verses are very cliche, like “Will you choose to be a sheep or will you become a wolf?”, but no one expects for Shakespeare or anything, so they didn’t strike me as specially corny. They play their part perfectly though, for example: “When did we become afraid to be free? Let them choke with their words, cut their hands with our deeds. Will to power behind love messages and empty promises”. That’s perfectly adequate, heavy and compliments well the music, even if it sounds more like a teenage rant than a wise man’s rebuttal against modern society.

Anyhow, easy recommendation if you are into the genre, I certainly enjoyed it a lot. Preparing my ears for Black Metal November.