300 Percent Density


Century Media, 2001


REVIEW BY: Benny Balneg


I hate anal, obsessive people who label certain kinds of music just so they fit a particular genre classification. These are probably the same clowns who coined the terms of grunge, dance-punk, and aggro-groovy-post-hardcore metal. A few of them work, but generally the labels are annoying and only fit a couple of the groups they set out to name.

That said, I'm still deciding if the genre of mathcore is interesting. On one hand, the gut-wrenching heaviness of hardcore combined with the precision and flamboyance of jazz is as potent a mix could be. On the other, the name sounds like the numbers would fly off my algebra textbook and give me a calculated ass-whopping. Still, that could be painfully interesting. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

300 Percent Density starts off with the creeping title track that sets the tone of the album. Vocalist Carley Coma’s thuggish screams are splattered all over John LaMacchia and Eric Matthews' tasty power chords and the heavy, syncopated rhythms of amazing drummer Kenneth Schalk and bassist Michael Macivor. This becomes the blueprint for most of the songs on the album, where hardcore is given an abacus and begins to go awry with the computations. In this case, the technical and challenging instruments coincide with the in-your-face heaviness to make a positive musical equation.

The pompously titled "Constant Velocity Is As Natural As Being At Rest" is as deceptive as its jazz intro, then—BAM!—the hardcore rock enters. Suffice it to say this ain’t drawn from a lecture in your physics class. Other songs present another side of the band: "Words From The Lexicon" shows the band undertaking hardcore rap over mellow, subdued beats, while "Opposing Meters" dabbles on dark ambient.

I guess the idea of the band is to valiantly take hardcore to another level by putting constant changes in time signature, mix a hodge-podge of smooth sections and add the occasional rap section. The album does succeed at a certain level because this heady mix conjures some interesting moments. On the downside, the band’s proclivity of indulging different musical elements occasionally goes overboard, which tends to dampen the listening experience. The songs work like a collection of great but inconsistend idea.

300 Percent Density is a sweet album, but it will certainly not cause a paradigm shift in music. More important, it signals the beginning of yet another genre name: mathcore. Of course, this means those label whores will come up with another genre for the next Candiria album, such as urethra rock, gym metal and, of course, post-mesozoic quasi-baroque pop. The Q.E.D., though, is that 300 Percent Density is a fresh, if inconsistent, listen all on its own.


Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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