|Review: Idolater - Regno Abyssus|
Year released: 2003
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: August 12, 2003
Reviewed by: Scott Murray
Rated 2/5 (40%) (1 Vote)
An ambitious solo project that deserves some regards for the grueling efforts that went into its creation, but lone member Mike Chavez operating under the moniker of Idolater, a vehicle used to deliver the debut and concept album Regno Abyssus, which took a year to piece together using a home studio and PC equipment (it's not hard to tell), along with a tight budget and took a year to put it all together.
The result is an album Chavez has dedicated to his idol Chuck Schuldiner. The music is labeled as "sophisticated, innovative, emotional and true to the roots of death metal." But as much as I take into account and recognize this young man's dedication to making metal and supporting the genre, the work definitely suffers from the inexpensive recording processes that went into its creation. The sharp rasps and growls are clear as rain, while the drums and overall atmosphere can seem overwhelmingly synthetic due to the drum programming. Not only that, but the sound is paper thin without any bass (blamed on "lack of a bassist" and "burnout"), so this noise really gets in your face but doesn't have anything to back it up.
The concept is basically songs about the build up to and eventual destruction of the world as Hell invades the earth. The lyrics for the most part are sung as dialogue between characters and is about as cliché as it gets.
The guy has some ok riffs and a good enough voice, but I'm thinking he would have been better off putting a whole band together for this project. Since this was Chavez' first recording experience and considering the way it turned out, I'm surprised he has made it clear that he is looking for some good reviews to then send off to labels and try and get signed. Sorry, but I know of so many indie bands that have produced flawless and professional sounding albums that blow away signed competition, yet they go unheard.
I do not doubt that Chavez has a future as a metal musician, but I'd say his sights are set too high on this one.
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