Perzonal War - Captive Breeding Review
by Matt Hensch
Oh my. This here is quite an abhorrent piece of wasted space. "Captive Breeding," another album from Germany's Perzonal War, seems to carry with it a label often citing territory between the lands of power metal and thrash based on reviews and my own personal experience with both sounds. Given the coincidental nature of its title, "Captive Breeding" sounds like the lame side of Iced Earth, Annihilator's crap era, the half-assed melodic thrash roots of Trivium, and groove elements à la Machine Head were forced into a closet and coerced to do what we in the scientific community call, "the nasty." If you had to force bile back down your throat, I don't blame you. Back to the point, Perzonal War's influences and contemporaries are in league with power/thrash metal; however, how they transfer these lackluster identities yields nothing remarkable, interesting, fun, original, or remotely noteworthy in any sense of enjoyment. In fact, “Captive Breeding” is about as 'bro' and 'hella tight' as it gets.
“Captive Breeding” has all the essential ingredients of a musical nightmare. We’ve got the teenage angst and recycled riffs—although placing the repetitious guitar work of haphazard junk next to anything by Pantera or Annihilator seems a little generous—you could ever imagine. Throughout the tedious fifty-five minutes, Perzonal War does nothing impressive. They constantly heave slice after slice of mid-paced debris, throwing in guitar solos which aren’t too shabby semi-frequently, but still completely loosing ground through the dull anthems which somehow pass for songs. This band just tries too hard. Way too hard. Each song stuffs in a plastic Fisher Price-grade chorus, or some one-dimensional aggression which attempts to seem hardcore or captivating in a mom-and-dad-took-away-my-Xbox sort of way, but it all ends up looking childish and juvenile.
“Captive Breeding” manages to dig itself even deeper because it just doesn’t end; thirteen songs of this rubbish, lasting over fifty-five minutes. I think the opening “Regression of the Art” has less holes than the remaining numbers despite its innate banes, so it’s probably the best track. Things quickly move south, very quickly. The main riff on “Lost” is pretty much the same sequence Pantera molded on “Walk,” and the opening shouts gracing “Unfailing System” are embarrassingly childish with the terrible groove elements rocking the underside of this pre-adolescent angst. It’s like I’m thirteen all over again. “Candor Hurts” exploits the emotional side of Perzonal War, although it gladly boasts the horrendous traits of the album’s glaring problems. “My Fate” ends the record with a dash of thrash, yet still the dull, insipid content smears itself all over the remnants of “Captive Breeding.”
As you see, Perzonal War’s efforts are certainly in vain. The fact that this somehow passes as power/thrash metal is utterly mesmerizing. It’s devastatingly depressing that “Captive Breeding” is glorifying such drivel when its creators have helped produce superior, even legendary, material, including Martin Buchwalter’s work engineering and producing several notable albums. No, I didn’t hate this because I’m a metal elitist or whatever you kids say; I despised it because I demand substance in my music, substance which has no place here. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to listen to the Vomit Sodomy demo, which is only sold in a traveling caravan located somewhere in the Ural Mountains during every lunar eclipse between Walpurgis Night and Samhain and limited to five-eighths of a copy.
Perzonal War - Captive Breeding
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