The saying “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t” has played through my head a lot while reviewing this, but sadly, I have to speak the truth of my thoughts. I was expecting so much from Strangle Wire. It’s obvious that they are capable of holding their own amongst the Death Metal scene due to their experience with some chugging brutal riffs, good compatible drumming, and beautifully mixed songs with clarity on all ends, but sadly, despite their efforts, talent, and experience, each of these songs are seemingly lacking personality or sign of individuality. It’s as if they have taken all the basics of metal and put it into each song without making it unique or theirs. It’s as if they are doing it just because they can and not because they strive to make good music for fans. Strangle Wire comprises the four band members Pete Clark (Vocalist), Greg Diffen (bass), Ross Duffy (guitars), and John Curlett (drums). You’d expect them to come forward with some mind-melting intensely amazing music… instead, your expectations meet reality and your mind-melting was due to their lack of originality.
Yes, there are some pretty banging heavy riffs amongst these songs with The Narcissist possibly being the best of the bunch, although each song was a stretch of commitment and tolerance with each heavy, chugging riff divided by an uninteresting and indistinct attempt to play everything as fast and unintelligibly as possible. Each song becomes twice as hard to listen to because there seems to be a lack of motivation to be unique or different, as if Strangle Wire took all their inspirations like Dying Fetus and Cannibal Corpse and then came up with a passionless imitation. It hurts to address this band with such brutal honesty and negativity given that each song has its length of brutality and craft, but the atmosphere of this band is lacking; and with such tasteless drive in their songs, it’s almost as if when this quality of metal is acceptable as anything more than a last resort, we are abandoning the initial passion that once birthed metal and kept it alive and vicious until this day. The weakest link of this ‘Metal’ chain being Pete Clark with underwhelming vocals and monotonous, unwavering growls that drown out almost everything else. It commands the song in a bad way that could much more fittingly be occupied by some intricate guitar or bass lines or even drum rolls. With boasting over decades of experience collectively from each member, the emotional quality of this album is lacklustre and it leaves me believing that the passion these men felt for metal was drained away long before this album’s abusive assault of blast beats and monotone growls ever came about. I suppose if you want songs with bland simplicity, a lot of vocals, and not much else then Strangle Wire might just be the band for you. Yes, there are worse bands to exist in this industry but I fail to understand how Strangle Wire are receiving so much praise for this album when it seems they have thrown away most of their potential and are just settling for the average “inside the box” display of metal.