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Severed Fifth Denied by Reign

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Jono Bacon‘s Severed Fifth project released its debut album today.  I torrented it first chance I got and listened to the vorbis files on my stereo from my media centre.  I must say that Jono has delivered, as promised, a pounding metal album that instantly takes it’s place at the top of the heap in free as in freedom death metal.  The album is well on it’s way to being one of my favourites.

Not content just to thrash and scream for the length of an LP, Jono mixes it up with softer vocals in some songs, singing over growls, a hard guitar solo in The Lake, and even a more bluesy solo in another track.  A few tracks are also interjected with monologue snippets.

One song pauses near the beginning in that just-out-of-sync way that surprised my brother and I a lot when we first heard it, but is really enjoyable.  The guitars and vocals deliver that moshable experiance that makes metal concerts so much fun.

The album is also released under a truly free license: CC-BY-SA.  While I’m no fan of the ShareAlike clause, Jono’s willingness to step outside of the NC-SA/NC-ND non-free regime that too-often dominates “free” music is really refreshing.  I’m looking forward to the mixes, mashes, and hopefully videos that fans put out.

No review can be all-positive.  As great as this album is musically, there are a few small things that I would have appeciated.  For one, it may just be me, but the album seems to have less bass than I like.  My subwoofer barely moved.  This may be the vorbis compression or the mix, and it may even have been on purpose.  I’m still willing to chalk it up to my soundcard, but I do play other music and I get bass tones a lot better on much of my stuff.  I would also have appreciated lyrics with the release: I know Jono’s a busy guy and I appreciate that not everything can be done before release when you have a firm date.  I’m just saynig that I really like to do a second listen while reading along, and that just isn’t possible yet.

I was also personally not a huge fan of a few of the very pronounced “moth-er-fuck-er” uses in two of the songs, but that’s much more a matter of personal preference.  The lyrics are not so laced with profanity as to be outright offensive like some other artists may be.

Overall, a very good album.  We’ll see where the project goes next.

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According to the comments in the Vorbis files, they are transcoded from MP3.

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