This year has been plagued by mediocrity especially in regards to the extreme music scene. From the painfully average Between The Buried and Me to the U-turn that Burnt By The Sun took on there latest effort. It seems for awhile that good, original musicianship was practically a long shot at best. With all the carbon copy Red Chord bands spawning these days, I must say that I was a bit wary of this latest effort from Ohio's Premonitions of War for Victory no less. With a previous EP on Goodfellow (soon to be re-released on Black Market Activities) and an album on Goodfellow all showcasing the band's maturity from record to record, I have to admit I was expecting something brilliant, although wasn't at the same time from the recent disaster this scene has been in the majority of the year. Premonitions of War, to whom I refer to as a modern day Coalesce, have once again outdone themselves on this latest effort "Left in Kowloon." What is the most peculiar about this record is that it ended up on Victory of all labels (much better suited for Relapse I would say). Any fan of hardcore music that has a knack for extreme music will undoubtedly eat this baby right up. Clocking in at 26 minutes, the record is over before you even have a chance to take a breath (much like most hardcore records). Exactly what the bands intentions were I would presume as all previous efforts have been in the same short and sweet songwriting format. Album opener "mother night revisited" explodes onto your speakers with subtleties of The Red Chord and older Burnt By The Sun bearing the main inspiration behind this punishing beginning. The majority of "Left in Kowloon" consists of very short (under two-minute) tracks with an occasional five minute epic thrown in to stir things up. Probably the most notable mistake on the record was the inclusion of noise track "Cables Hum Overhead." It seems extremely out of place especially preceding the album's longest and finest moment "Black Den," with its older Isis feel to it. Breaking the brutality up in this instance with a noise track wasn't a very good idea because it kills the overall flow. I find myself skipping this nonsense (noise track) every time, wishing it were the last song so I could just press eject rather than skip. The true Premonitions of War material found on the rest of album definitely marks a rekindling of my love for extreme music. We were all at a loss with so many otherwise great bands failing to deliver with their latest efforts. It's nice to see great talent not going to waste as with so many other bands. One of the major things these guys do that sets them apart from the pack is the inclusion of stoner riffs as on album finale "Dim Light District" as well as the Mastodon worship found on "The Octopus." I look forward to further exploration of this style in future Premonitions material. It would be tragic not to exploit the fact that this record was recorded by legendary producer Erik Rutan (ex-Morbid Angel, current Hate Eternal fame). One of the most polished extreme records in recent memory since The Red Chord's debut. Bottom Line: The only flaw with "Left in Kowloon" doesn't lie in the musicianship or recording, rather the meager length. This 26 minute full-length is hardly enough to satisfy a fan of extreme music in any sense of the word. But, what you do have is a memorable as fuck record that will definitely cause some serious heads to roll. Well, the bar has been set and let's see if the scene will give us something else worthy enough to write home about come the end of 2004. Thank you Premonitons of War. What a way to ring in the New Year.
3 commentsPost Comment
MrWong_ 2/5/2006 2:27:10 PM
Seriously underrated album. One of the best releases of 2004.
douchebaggery_ 3/30/2006 5:36:45 PM
this album is f*cking incredible. no complaints whatsoever. buy it gays.