Suspended In Stone


Independent release, 2000

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


Bands like Godsmack, Staind, and Drowning Pool sure don't fool metalheads like me, that's for damn sure. I'm still listening to good bands.

Detachment from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is a death band with so much talent they belong on Nuclear Blast Records or Century Media Records. They sound like a band, production-wise, that would fit in on a tour with death gods Dimmu Borgir and/or Cradle of Filth. Their recent release, Suspended In Stone, is a breath of fresh air for the genre.

First off, death metal vocals and I do not see eye-to-eye on any level. Former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted recently described them as "Cookie Monster vocals" shortly before taking the stage with his new trio, EchoBrain. And, as a retired drummer with 21 years of playing under my gut, I have to say that blast beats, that is, playing the snare on all four beats of a 4/4 measure, doesn't impress me either, no matter how fast you play it. So any death band, whether they are from my hometown or not, have two strikes going against them. I admit this openly so you know where I stand.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Detachment still hasn't gotten their third strike. They are smart enough to know that those trademarks have been done before and doing them again does not expand the genre.

"Bloodmirror" is the peak of this CD and demands your attention. This song is in three movements. The first and third are identical. The band introduces each instrument and allows each to take a brief featured spot, before guitarist/vocalist Lee Ohlhauser leads the band through the same type of death metal that you hear in the first five tracks.

However, in the middle of this song, the death metal genre expands when the band slips into a fusion section in "Bloodmirror," powered by the hi-hat groove of drummer Larry Unger. Bassist Wade Wilson, who has since left the band, joins in with some tasteful bass licks while guitarist/vocalist Lee Ohlhauser contributes an outstanding performance, bringing to mind a guitarist like Al Dimeola and the band Cynic. Keyboardist Michael Titman shines as well. The band begins the track as a death metal song, but decided to throw in this section. It works remarkably and serves as a nice set up for the last 3 tracks. It's as if the band needed to get this fusion section out of their system. And in doing so, Detachment expands the genre, while still being true to the genre.

Suspended In Stone is the type of release that you can listen to over and over, kind of like AC/DC's Back In Black. After awhile, the material becomes familiar. But even after 10 listens, I find new and exciting things to shake my head in amazement to. While I do wish that there were more truly genre bursting sections on the CD, the fusion section in "Bloodmirror" did the trick for me.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2001 Paul Hanson and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Independent release, and is used for informational purposes only.