Unabletothinkofname Reviews: Homefront: Songs For The Resistance

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Unabletothinkofname Reviews: Homefront: Songs For The Resistance

Post by Unabletothinkofname on Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:15 pm

Unabletothinkofname Reviews: Homefront: Songs For The Resistance
Deathcore, schizo, and war, lots of war

Homefront: Songs For The Resistance is one of the most progressive and interesting ideas to happen in both music and video game soundtracks in quite some time. Your humble scribe goes above and beyond the Call Of Duty...

I can't have been the only metalhead who was intrigued when Homefront, a game I'd previously been uninterested in, announced it would be releasing a compliation of metal covers. Expecting the usual list of videogame and war-friendly bands (Five Finger Death Punch, Lamb of God, Pantera, etc) I was happily surprised when the list included some of my favorite underground and upcoming extreme metal bands. So, with the album having been a fixture on my iPod playlists for about a month now, I felt it a good time to review the album.

Songs For The Resistance kicks off...well, good, but not great. It's a theme that'll unfortunately represent the album as a whole, but don't stop reading here: there's brilliant highs to counterpoint the less interesting parts. Christian br00tal metalcore mob's take on Slayer's 1990 classic War Ensemble isn't bad, exactly: There's nothing wrong with it, but unlike the highlights of the album, they make little attempt to change around the formula of the song from the original. In fact...there's no attempt to change it at all. Aside from the (impressive, but incongrous) roar of Tim Lambesis replacing Tom Araya's inimitable bellow, the cover's note-for-note, even the widdly solo sounding as if it was taken right out of a tab-book.

Happily, however, the album immediately segues into its highpoint: Mathcore head honchos The Dillinger Escape Plan's funk-tastic but still brutally heavy cover of Public Enemy's Fight The Power, with assistance from Chuck D himself. The music doesn't like "Limp Bizkit crap" to quote TDEP guitarist/songwriting mastermind Ben Weinman, nor do the vocals sound contrived, with Greg Puciato's furious bark replacing the rhymes of the original MC's perfectly (though Chuck D's smooth delivery does break the occasional monotony). Best of all, they manage to retain the original song's bloody-minded political fury despite the backing track and vocals being completely different. Inspired and utterly, utterly fantastic.

TDEP's Greg Puciato fights the powah

Demented schizo metallers iwrestledabearonce are up next, with a largely faithful cover of Muse's Uprising that devolves into a crazed beatdown of apocalyptically fast double kicks, frontwoman (yes, honestly) Krysta Cameron hitting some astonishing low notes as the band brutalize their way through the song behind her. At this point, the songs do start blurring together a little-which isn't a comment on their quality, simply that the style in which they're performed remains the same, in a similar fashion to the AILD cover:
note-for-note covers with added brutal vocals that rarely suit the songs. Deathcore stalwarts The Acacia Strain's ultra-heavy cover of Black Sabbath's War Pigs drags on for eight loooooong minutes, not helped by Vincent Bennett's strained-sounding grunts.

Luckily, djent scene leaders Periphery arrive to save the day with their fantastic cover of Metallica's One. I'm in the minority camp about this, but I think it's one of the finest songs on the album, and an excellent cover, Spencer Sotelo's higher vocals not able to match James Hetfield's gruff bark, but giving the earlier part of the song a mellower, ambient feel, before the crushing later section kicks in, with all of lead guitarist Misha "Bulb" Mansoor's astonishing skill on display.

Periphery's Spencer Sotelo: a true djentleman. (Sorry. >.<)

It's a surprise highlight in the midst of some of the album's more boring covers: The Ghost Inside's take on CCR's Fortunate Son, Winds of Plague's cover of Buffalo Springfield's For What It's Worth and Misery Signals' cover of Pink Floyd's Us And Them, the latter a prime example of why brutal vocals on softer songs don't work. These songs are good, but...simply quite dull when compared to the more impressive (or simply insane) highlights.

One of those insane highlights is schizo-thrashers Arsonists Get All The Girls' demolition of Bob Dylan's Masters Of War, starting off as a faithful cover, before devolving into a mental blur of blastbeats, guttural roars, mathy guitar sweeps and demented keyboards. It eases off into a light (and hilarious) ska break, before the end of one of the penultimate lines segues the song into a gut-wrenchingly slow and monolithically heavy beatdown, bringing it to an abrupt close.

Arsonists Get All The Girls: Masters of...core

It's the last great highpoint on the album: what follows is Oceano's hilariously brutal devestation of anti-war classic, erm, War by Edwin Starr and Veil Of Maya's equally fearsome take on U2's Sunday Bloody Sunday, but at this point, the thrill of the album has passed. My tone on the album may sound negative, but as I've said, it hasn't been out of my playlists or my ears for more than a day, and I find myself returning even to the less interesting tracks more and more. Try it and see-the songs are on Youtube, though I was lucky enough one of the free download codes.


Songs For The Resistance is not great, but it is very, very good at times, and when it's good, it's brilliant, and when it's not, it's not terrible, or even bad: it's just dull enough to be disappointing, and make you wish it could have been done better. It's an intriguing concept, and I look forward to seeing where it's taken in the future. If the crazier side of extreme metal is your thing, give it a try.

Recommended Tracks:

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Re: Unabletothinkofname Reviews: Homefront: Songs For The Resistance

Post by Furburt on Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:02 pm

TDEP one was good, and I don't usually like them. War Pigs was fucking terrible, due entirely to the vocals.

Listened to a few others. Nothing bad, but I wouldn't really be interested in any of them, not my style of music.

Better than the game though, by all means.

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