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Ehnahre : Old Earth

Sometimes it is good to experiment. Sometimes it is not. Ehnahre prove us the latter.

Sometimes it is good to experiment. It can often lead to new and interesting things. However, putting together a bunch of random crap and trying to pass it off as 'experimental' and even 'avant-garde' is just plain not nice.

This is pretty much the vibe one gets when listening to Ehnahre's latest, "Old Earth". Seriously, is this a joke? If I wanted to listen to something like this, I'd just set my radio to the AM dial and kick it a few times. It would likely be more interesting, too.

The band's name is a phonetic spelling of 'NR' which itself is short for their old name, Negative Reasoning, which is a shortened version of the Eyehategod song 'Non Conductive Negative Reasoning'. However, the link to Eyehategod pretty much ends there.

When I first put this album on, I thought there was something wrong with my copy. The seemingly random pops and clicks throughout a part of the first track just sounded like a problem with the transfer (I'm still debating if this was intentional, or if someone just dropped their car keys on the soundboard, and decided to leave it in the final mix). In fact, the song itself doesn't really go anywhere until about eight minutes in (of a thirteen minute long track), and when something finally happens, it seems to be more random chords strikes than anything resembling a riff.

The first and second tracks are also the only thing here that I would say even approaches doom. The guitar tone is quite nice, actually (really, the whole mix is well done), and the vocals are bold and up front. It's a rare mash of black metal buzz, hardcore vitriol, and sludgy crunch that blends together seamlessly in a rather unexpected way. It's just a shame that it's mostly overshadowed by the 'strike some random notes, and make it seem like you're doing a sound check' parts which comprise the majority of the first two tracks.

The latter two songs (also the shorter, at around 13 minutes total, of a 37 minute album) have nothing to do with doom metal... perhaps even metal in general. If anything, they're 'avant-core', which reads well on paper, but the execution is more akin to a drunken cover band playing D.R.I. and forgetting the riffs halfway through a song.

For the most part, I wouldn't go so far as to call anything on here music. Even when parts of a song (and I use that term incredibly loosely here) become somewhat cohesive it just sounds like horribly sloppy black metal more than anything else (imagine a 'band' covering Darkthrone at a high school talent show).

The band members used to be in Kayo Dot. Well, that at least explains things, but it certainly doesn't excuse them. Chances are, some people will call this 'brilliant and innovative', but I know better. Comparisons to Fantômas and Kayo Dot are inevitable, and even somewhat warranted, but more as a cautionary warning than a tribute.

So, who to recommend this album to? Noise fans, and art rock hipsters with low expectations, perhaps. I, however, am honestly not sure, because I don't think that I dislike anyone quite that much.

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Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Old Earth I
2. Old Earth II
3. Old Earth III
4. Old Earth IV

Duration : Approx. 37 minutes

Visit the Ehnahre bandpage.

Reviewed on 2012-08-30 by Matt Zuchowski
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