Album Review: Epi-Demic – Madness

Epi-Demic [Canada]
Madness
2011
Full Length
Independent
Thrash Metal/Crossover
6.7/10

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F26784794%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-eafig&secret_url=true Epi-Demic – Bringing Home The Violence (B.H.T.V) by heavymetaltribune

Thrash metal/crossover seems to be on the rise, with numerous underground bands releasing albums this year. After the experience of another Canadian band, Desekratewhore earlier, receiving yet another CD with a DIY theme certainly left me procrastinating a little. Madness is the first full length album of Canadian thrash metal/crossover band, Epi-Demic, but having 6 years of experience playing together definitely bodes well.

The album opens with a doom-paced riff with the band’s self-titled track, Epi-Demic but soon enough they break into a thrash metal-paced riff, yet managing to retain that heavy feel in the music. Vocalist/guitarist Adam’s vocal styles ranges from an aggressive shout, hardcore punk style, to a pseudo-scream, spitting out the lyrics to the songs with much rage and at times, in anguish. The riffs that are unleashed, while simple, are fast and straight to the point, alternating between fast, chugging sections and more urgent and seemingly chaotic style. Guitar solos, when present, also are a good display of the abilities of Adam on his instrument, though they tend to be one of the less-liked moments on songs, as it leaves an awkward empty space due to the lack of a rhythm guitars.

Another thing that one notices immediately is the prominence and heavy presence of bassist Kyle, often taking the role of the second lead instrument on top of the usual rhythm duties, playing separate lines from the guitars. The moments where it seemingly takes over the role of the rhythm guitar is evident during guitar solos, such as those on Epi-Demic, though the softness of the instrument almost causes it to be drowned out. The intro of Mob Mentality also displays the band’s various influences, on top of further displaying the presence of the bassist, with bass riffs that would have fitted on a jazz fusion record with ease. Drummer Aaron also experiments with different and unconventional beats during this moment, and though it sounded slightly off-beat and awkward, it could have very well been the point of the band. The punk influences in the band’s songwriting are also obvious with the shouting of the band members in the background for some of the songs, and with Aaron constantly breaking into d-beats on songs such as Bring Home the Violence.

While there have certainly been many potentially good ideas on the album, there are times when the band sounded slightly confused and awkward, such as the intro of songs like Mob Mentality, leaving listeners slightly confused and disoriented on the first few listens. The songs are also not particularly memorable, and leaves listeners with little or no memory of the album even after numerous listens.

Despite so, Madness has displayed the potential that the band holds, and is recommended to fans of such bands as Birth A.D., only with a more unpolished edge in the production and music writing, and with a more hardcore edge to the music.

Epi-Demic on the internet:
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©2011 Heavy Metal Tribune | Hong Rui

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