Pillory – Evolutionary Miscarriage (Unique Leader)Wednesday, 4th June 2014
The buzz around Pillory will probably stem from the recording/producing job of founding drummer Darren Cesca (Arsis et al). The long time coming follow up to 2005’s No Lifeguard at the Gene Pool (an amusing title for the science nerds among us), Evolutionary Miscarriage details the de-evolution of man. Clever album titles – check, solid lyrical bases – check, let’s move forward.
A similar recent release to compare Pillory to would be that of Archspire. Plenty of sweeping technical riffage infects each song, rarely given the listener time to breathe and no real opportunity to see what’s coming around the next bend. Clinically sterile with outstanding drumwork and mind boggling fret scales also bring to mind the elite of the genre, such as Spawn of Possession and Obscura. They do toss in a few breakdowns once in a while that come awfully close to deathcore territory.
The re-occurring issue here is of the sterility. Heading the band’s promotional advise, Evolutionary Miscarriage received a healthy number of spins to insure the entire package was able to be evaluated properly, given the incredibly complex nature of the tracks themselves. Ultimately, even after repeated listens, not much truly stands out. It’s not a question of whether or not the band has ability, it’s more a songwriting issue, quickly shifting from technically driven riff to technically driven riff with nothing to grab onto. There are a few passing moments, such as the symphonically enhanced “Phantasmagorical Beasts” and the all-out punishment of “Lixiviated,” but much of it tends to fuse together without the needed energy to really make you stand at attention.
Considering Unique Leader’s flat out dominance of the tech death spectrum here in 2014, Evolutionary Miscarriage just doesn’t seem to measure up to the rest of the big boys. If you just eat up all of the tech death you can, you will find no fault with Pillory. But for the rest of us, there’s plenty of excellent examples elsewhere.