Sunday, June 23, 2013

melodic, black-core metal: Eshtadur (Colombia): "Stay Away from Evil and Get Close to Me"

melodic, black-core metal: Eshtadur (Colombia): "Stay Away from Evil and Get Close to Me"
The first song I heard by Eshtadur was the title track "Stay Away from Evil and Get Close to Me" and I liked what I heard. That song, and "Son of a Witch" showcase, in my perspective, the band's strengths. In both cases the music is faster, melodic black metal, with a clear sound quality, and both numbers are immediately intelligible, and likable. Coming across as a "modern" band, they do well, with a youthful energy that is encouraging.
The raspy vocals and the drumming, in particular, appear to be by musicians with a good attitude and effort. At times, the drumming seems to carry the brunt of the song, pushing forward the speed and rhythm. Similarly, the vocals are pretty good, with some death metal low growling in places, to add variety, as well as some really screechy yelling.
One thing that I do find surprising is how much Eshtadur actually mixes their influences and wear them on the sleeves. At times, I think the unity of the sound takes a turn for the worse because the more midtempo moments illustrate a feature of the band that is not their strongest, in my opinion.
In particular, I find some of the guitar work to be less effective when the music is midtempo. When the music goes fast, the riffs, while perhaps reminiscent of melodic/growl metal's most influential band's, sounds friendly to my ears.
The midtempo moments show a recurring tendency to sound like "metalcore," including with breakdown moments, such as found in the most famous core/breakdown/melodic/growl bands. To me, that does not sound as effective. Bands can mix all sorts of influences, and I'm sure that perhaps a younger audience would like that, given that that style is widely popular, like Killswitch Engage. However, in the case of Eshtadur, the chugga-chugga guitar goes a long ways towards undoing the ferocity of the speed in others songs or other parts of the songs.
Eshtadur sounds promising. To me, it would be better to concentrate more on the non-breakdown, non-core style, and instead use the strengths to build on the sound of the band, to reach out for the sound that can be consolidated in Eshtadur, along the lines of the better songs here, in the style of fast, melodic, symphonic metal.

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