antlered manANTLERED MAN – ‘This Devil Is Them’
With their new album, Antlered Man hasn’t just created songs; they’ve created a baffling experience.  Although settling in the netherworld of industrial rock, the band manages to get sinister without overtly scaring their listeners.  The album begins with ‘The Ballad of Hamhock Fullsleeve,’ a tune with theatrical glimpses of Tool and Silverchair. While the track is explosive, it’s mainly a variation of the same riff for 5 minutes. The vocals sound as if Mindless Self Indulgence were performing as a Dio tribute.  Second cut ‘GDZ’ is a progressive rock jam mixed with Celtic grooves. The ghostly melodic trills fit the setting of a séance rather than a rock concert. Antlered Man gets heavier with ‘Ian Will Break Again,’ as patterns of A Perfect Circle flow over System of a Down influenced vocal shrieks.  ‘Claude The Ideal Bloody Gentleman’ is the core pulse of the album: an eight minute rock odyssey that begins with creepy music box sounds, resembling a demented Cirque De Sole soundtrack.  As the fuzzy distortion initiates, the opera infused vocals of Queen melt with German heavy metal: an ironic “Bohemian Ramstein.”  ‘Phony Tough’ is a rock song with rap-infused vocal structures while ‘Salute Da Calm’ goes back to prog rock, providing a more comfortable listen than its predecessor.  If eight minute tracks weren’t substantial enough, the group challenges itself with the 10 minute extravaganza, ‘Audition Tapes For Hades.’ Although listeners will have to anxiously wait for a heavy conclusion, they are handsomely rewarded with a mammoth hard rock outro.  Antlered Man’s dominant songwriting exists within the expressive longer tracks.  If they dropped the standard length cuts and stuck with the odyssey’s, they’d have an EP to stomp all over their peers; for they are the true dispositions of the record.  (6)



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