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A Life Once Lost A Great Artist

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01. Surreal Atrocities 02. Cavil 03. The Change Came Suddenly 04. Nevermore Will I Have An Understanding... 05. ... In Anything Under The Sun 06. Maudlin 07. Pious 08. The Wicked Will Rot 09. Overwhelming
2003 Deathwish Inc.
Our score 7

by Cory
11/11/2003

A Life Once Lost have made a relatively big impact in a short time, with the ferocity of their debut and the stunning follow-up "The Fourth Plague: Flies." Somewhere between that EP and the recording of "A Great Artist" they seem to have had a musical awakening of sorts. While "Flies" showcased a penchant for the spastic riffing of bands like Dillinger Escape Plan, their new album is more interested in pounding you into submission at a crawling pace. The result of this is a sound that is much harder to get into, but equally, if not more appealing. Each song on this record fits fairly neatly into a formula based on slow, odd-tempo beats and repetition of thematic riffs. Each song has a riff or two that are almost always closely connected to each other. There are certainly some tracks where the riffs stand out moreso than others, but this statement applies to most of the album's tracks. "Cavil" and "The Wicked Will Rot" are among the disc's most enjoyable tracks, but that's not to say that every song isn't equally brutal or technically capable. The two-part "Nevermore Will I Have An Understanding..." and "...Of Anything Under The Sun" utilizes an excellent Pantera-style riff and solo, something I personally enjoyed quite a bit. There are two major shortcomings to this record as far as I am concerned. The first is that for all their talent, A Life Once Lost has limited themselves quite a bit as far as songwriting is concerned. Where their previous releases had a bit more variety, "A Great Artist" settles into a steady, almost hypnotic pace and refuses to sway. This makes the record both very cohesive and slightly dull. Also, like pretty much everybody else, I've noticed the similarities in this record to Meshuggah. This doesn't really present a problem to me because while I thoroughly enjoy "A Great Artist," Meshuggah has yet to put out a record that I was particularly attached to and quite frankly, it's almost refreshing to hear a band emulate a Swedish metal band that isn't At The Gates. Like nearly every other Deathwish release, "A Great Artist" has great packaging and a layout that accomplishes visually what the band does musically. I really have spent quite some time just admiring the artwork and design. I really liked that they didn't try to cram the lyrics in as an afterthought, giving them enough space to make it possible to read. Bottom Line: I can say without hesitation that this is a good album, but I can't guarantee that it's for everyone. If technical death metal is something that interests you, "A Great Artist" has easily established A Life Once Lost among the most talented bands of the genre. Provided that you are more interested in the talent of a band than their innovation, there is very little not to enjoy about "A Great Artist."

Comments (4) post new comment
Hunter_ 12/22/2004 3:48:31 PM

Love this album....!


kneel_ 1/13/2005 11:17:18 PM

nice album..


Chris_ 9/19/2006 11:41:52 AM

Each song is just like the one before it. Which in my opinion makes only the first song worth a listen. It's good but something about it is just plain boring.


Dirk_ 12/6/2006 11:00:42 PM

Very good album. 8/10