Schammasch – Triangle

Note to any band out there: if you make a 100 minute concept album, make sure you concept is worth making 100 minutes of music about. Second note: playing louder does not make your statement any more grandiose. Schammasch apparently missed these two memos, and as such have created a monster of an album, and not in a good way.

Triangle is brash but not bold, loud but way too fucking proud, and the result is an extremely long waste of my time. Before even getting into the music, what the actual fuck is that production job? They managed to make the least important aspects of the music (backing guitar and drums) the loudest part of the album, and by far. It’s actually hilarious every time I hear this pretty good technical solo being completely drowned out by the droning backing guitar (who essentially plays the same “riff” the whole time, just in different keys) and the drummer who’s slamming his sticks harder than a teen who just discovered what porn is. And it’s not just the solos, you can’t even really hear the vocals. Like in an album that’s supposedly philosophical in nature, you’d think they would make it as easy as possible to hear the lyrics, because as pretty as notes are, they can’t really key in on philosophical opinions in anything other than a general manner (at least not in a way that the listener can reliably catch on to). So what you get instead is 2 of the 3 disks (which I may add, contain 66 minutes of music) is essentially atmospheric, black metalish noise, in some cases this noise being favored over elements to their music that are actually somewhat interesting.

But I can’t really give them too much credit. While I appreciate the ambitious disk 3 that contains a mix of tribal ambient and black metal, and the attempt to mix so many damn genres together, it just doesn’t fucking work. The higher you aim, the higher the bar you set, and this album doesn’t even come close to clearing it. The actual experimental elements (which apparently include generic prog metal as experimental, as if that’s never been combined with black metal before) seem very tame and unadventurous. Do not be fooled by the genre tags, most of them come from the mish-mash of genre influences that orthodox black metal can be. In reality the first two disks are very much lacking in not only variety, but after the initial “oh hey this is cool” wears off, imagination. I get having motiffs, but the droning, dissonant, tremelo riff is seemingly the only thing played by the guitars in this album, especially on the first disk. The only difference is the key that it’s played in. And again, any variety that IS there is just washed away by the production job that fucks subtlety in its virgin asshole, to the point where rape charges should really be filed. Subtlety is not bad, I hate that so many “experimental” black metal bands ignore that to try to one up everyone in the edgy art student dick measuring contest.

I will say, I have not spoken in length about the third disk because it is actually quite tolerable. I wouldn’t call it “good” however. More like a somewhat interesting concept executed to an acceptable level. At the very least it’s the one part that didn’t give me tinnitus. I really do like the concept of tribal ambient combined with black metal guitar tones, I just feel like for an album who’s whole shtick is being spectacular, they really took it easy on the one part of the album where they could’ve been very unique. It’s overall easy to listen to, but quite boring. I mean fuck, the whole album is boring, that’s the entire issue. But this was boring in a way I could accept, rather than a way that makes me think your entire career is made to compensate for your 4 inch penis.

Triangle is a failed experiment that doesn’t even try to experiment that much. As hyped as this album is, I see it as nothing more than pretentious, vapid genre porn, made for people who don’t like metal to feel both cultured and sufficiently edgy.