States of Being
States of Being
Reviewer: Raising Iron
An interesting mix of the gothic style
Something Beautiful are a newer gothic metal band from Chicago, and their first self-released effort from 2006, States of Being, is a not-so-typical, yet well done, example of the genre. There are some slight progressive overtones to the venture, as if this duo is reaching for something more exotic than what they're able to achieve, but the attempt is valiant.
Dipping into Tool's bag of tricks from time to time is very evident, but these guys' song structures are more restrained with the only track, "Where Dust Belongs", truly settled in the ambient/noise mode. Speaking of Tool, even lead singer Dale Tippet's inflections recall Maynard Keenan at times. In terms of their music, Type O Negative could be another reference point. Lots of keyboards and samples accompany the programmed drums, lending to the mechanistic sound of this recording. Also, there are very little overdubs, which also takes away from the more organic and rich style usually found in the gothic metal genre. Fortunately, there's enough melodic guitar leads to spice up some areas, and the vocals are expressed with a convincing, melancholic flavor.
Highlights would have to be the heaviosity found in "Dancing in Rubble", with its varied vocal assertions and singable chorus; and the staccato rhythm exhibited in "God Hates Me", which segues into a sorrowful progression come chorus time. Also, the opening of "Some Kind of Destiny" displays a nice keyboard-based build, moving into a slightly thrashy rhythm which alternates with a more traditional gothic-hinged movement.
There are some really good ideas here, just maybe a bit too many crammed into the songs at times. If these guys could find a live drummer, streamline the songs a bit more (I don't mean they can't be long), and add some overdubs into the studio to thicken things up, they could take a large leap forward on their next release. Overall, this is an interesting mix of the gothic style, and worth keeping an eye on.