Prior to my first listen, the info I found about Legion of Andromeda had me quite intrigued. A Tokyo based band described as noise, industrial, drone, doom metal definitely sounds like something I´d like. The album was recorded by sonic mastermind Steve Albini at his legendary Electrical Audio Studios in Chicago. Considering his resume through working with bands like Neurosis and High on Fire this should be sonically pleasing.
Ok then, first listen. The splendidly titled ‘Transuranic Ejaculation’ (google it) growls out of the headphones I’m wearing. The vocals are growled through a thick layer of distortion, the guitar is down tuned and the sound is so dirty that the riffs sound like they are barely forcing their way through the muddy walls of distortion.
And then we get to the drums… I don’t mind the use of drum machines in metal at all, many times they can provide an extra layer of heaviness, pummelling away like heavy machinery. But what Legion of Andromeda has chosen to do is to only use two sounds in their drum programming. Double bass drum and a ride cymbal, specifically the “PLING” sound you get from hitting the inner rims of the dome on the cymbal.
During the first track I think to myself, Ok, its a new sort of interesting approach to replace what would usually be snare drum with “PLING”. A fun thing to do for one song. And so I get to the second track and its the same, double bass drum and “PLING”. I don’t even think they changed the tempo. Is this for real? Is this the whole basis for their drum programming?
Third track comes along, there’s a slight change in tempo. Not that it matters, its slowed down but its still du-du-du-du-du-du-du-du-PLING! By the time I get to the fourth track the guitar and vocals have gone to just be background noise and all I really hear is du-du-du-du-du-du-du-du-PLING! This goes on for what seems like half an eternity and I feel exhausted when its over.
I may be wrong, but all of the songs are just repetitive clutter with an insanely intense drum pattern that shifts all focus away from the actual music as it engulfs all your hearing. I don’t think theres much more I can say about this album as I had so much trouble trying to decipher any specific details other than the ones I’ve described above.
I guess you should check it out if you like an intense challenging listen, but for me there’s really nothing to go on here. Hopefully their future releases wont be ruined by a singular drum pattern.