This time, and maybe only this time, I took the “Avantgenre” labelling from the official promo sheet instead of inventing something. “Biomechanical Disturbance metal” – that is how the band calls their music and it is fitting so well I just have to leave it at that.
MINE[THORN] features member Brooke of AXIS OF PERDITION, and while their latest effort “Urfe” (a kind of “audio book” with ambient background) just was not for me, MINETHORN actually features music, and not that bad either. In fact, it is rather good, and this is where the “Biomechanical Disturbance Metal” comes in. To get an overall picture, one could draw comparisons to HAVOC UNIT, THE AMENTA or RED HARVEST – MINE[THORN] play the same kind of menacing Industrial Metal, and they have done their homework well. Heavy riffing on a brutal Death Metal basis, nicely implemented industrial sound effects and omnipresent, but subliminal synths do justice to their labelling and invoke pictures of barren, factorial landscapes of iron, rust and mechanical junk. In the promo sheet it is stated that “MINE[THORN] simply wish to create music that is both crushingly heavy and rich with visual identity”. No exaggeration of the label here, they succeeded with that intention.
There are a few downsides as well. First, I let MINE[THORN] slip into the Avantgarde-pool only because to my best knowledge there are still not that many bands of this style around. Where it not for the other bands I mentioned above, they would appear more innovative, but as it is they still need to step out of the shadows of these bands.
Second (and this is my main problem) – the drums. Sure, the drummer has great and interesting ideas. Yet, either he lacks the skills to execute these ideas with the needed exactness or the triggers have been maladjusted – to cut it short, the drums (namely the base drum) are much too unprecise, it sounds as if the drummer is trying to keep up with the tempo or as if he can’t transpose what he wants to do. The drum sound in addition is crystal clear so this strikes even more. And this takes much of the impact which MINE[THORN]’s music does indeed transport – compare to the drums of for example THE AMENTA (I am sure they did some tweaking in the studio afterwards though); this is what this kind of music needs, exactness and brutality with the drums and this is something MINE[THORN] lacks.
Despite that, I am sure that MINE[THORN], should they record another album, do have the potential to erase these flaws. “Junk Hive Noir” is, as it is, still a definite recommendation for fans of this genre and aforementioned bands.
EDIT, 11.10.09: Just a few days ago AGM got a mail from Brooke of MINE[THORN] regarding the review. Please read this – it concerns the point I had to criticize the most, namely the drum sound and technique. As a musician and drummer myself I can totally understand the band, so I felt this had to be corrected by letting Brooke explain himself. This is what he wrote to us:
Thanks to Tentakle P for the review, glad he got something out of it and we are gratefull for the exposure. I dont normally respond to reveiws (either good or bad) but i felt there was one point worth bringing up. The problems with the drums where entirely technical in nature, we recorded on a midi kit direct into the computer, triggering samples. Unfortunately this was our first experience of such a method (being entierly self produced and recorded in our kitchen) and had issues with the triggering, especially the bass drum. sadly we lacked the time to edit these properly and as such the result is as you hear on the cd. Its a fair point in the review but i would hate to think it was put down to Dans playing when in reallity he is an exceptional musician and did us a great favour by stepping in at the 11th hour to help us out.thanks again for the reveiw and your time its great to see ‘zine dedicated to the more outre end the metal spectrum.
Brooke / Minethorn”
Having read this I have even higher hopes for a killer second album. Good luck to the guys of MINE[THORN]!
01 – Density
02 – Leftover
03 – Consumer
04 – Detrivore
05 – Compactor
06 – Reign
07 – Communion
08 – Volvox