Thursday, September 22, 2011

Margin Of Error-What You Are About To Witness


The concept was promising enough. Having a record based on the thought process of a serial killer did intrigued me. Even if it isn't anything new between the imposing album cover and the opening cut “Time to Suffer” (a forty-second track with static interference where you can hear a woman screaming in terror in the background) there was hope. The tone had been set and this concept album was off to a good start. How quickly that changed. Now their first album "Create.Destroy.Repeat." was rather good for this Cleveland, Ohio band. Margin Of Error began life as a goth rock/industrial metal act and even if they did often draw comparisons to Combichrist and Hocico they had a strong following and were off to a promising start. So, what happened between then and now? Now let me be honest and say for the record "What you are about to Witness" does have it's good moments. When they strive for it they really hit the ball out of the park. “We Are the End” starts off promising before collapsing under it's own weight. And “What you are about to Witness” features this haunting choir and has a somewhat chilling effect. That shows real thought about creating a atmospheric sense of dread and impending doom. The problem begins though on tracks like “Cut the Throat”. A perfect example of wearing yourself too thin "Cut the Throat" tries too hard to be Suicide Silence but ends up as watered down Hatebreed. While the band strives to be effective deathcore (the high screams of vocalist/songwriter Travis Meyers bare witness to that) far too often it just all blurs together. Keyboards, synthesizers, drum beats and electric guitars get buried in a poor production job. I understand that the band has adapted a DIY outlook and that could explain why the record sounds less than profession. Without the help of a record label they have had to go it alone and for that I do give them credit. The thing is there are hundreds of other Ohio bands doing the same thing with better results. If only their new sense of direction had as much conviction when it came to the actual music. For all the hype surrounding "What you are about to Witness" I was anxious to hear it. In the end though instead of being a step in the right direction the new album finds local heroes Margin Of Error wasting their talent. Here they are drowning in a sea of 2nd rate bands and they don't even see it. You want so bad to throw them a life vest and scream "enough of the Suicide Silence/Hatebreed/Ministry modern metal guys you can do so much better!". It sounds like a million other synthesizer crazy local industrial metal acts and that sense of individuality that was present on their debut album is buried under layers of generic heavy rock. I wanted to like this one since despite all of their past theatrics (such as dressing up like Marilyn Manson) here was a local band doing their own thing. With this record though they sound far too common and will unfortunately get lost in the pile of "what could have been" bands unless they change back soon.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's always funny when I see a review and they can't even get the record name right. The first record they put out was Destroy. Create. Repeat. And not Create. Destroy. Repeat.

Witness is a solid record, but it goes wway further than the music in the record. And i'm suree until people realize the depth of the record and concept it will be misunderstood. looking forward to what Margin has in store next, they always surpise me in a great way.

11:39 AM  
Blogger Andy said...

It's always funny to me when someone takes the time to point out something stupid like a mistaken title. It's obvious some people don't bother to read through reviews to see what the person say's about their take on the music and instead looks for tiny mistakes to point out to make themselves look better. Well, hope you sleep better tonight and boy do I ever feel silly. Not really dumbass.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:18 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

Maybe dumbass was too harse. How about Captain Anal?

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haha. Yeah, alright. If you review something from a band, people should actually know about that band... Probably too much to ask beings everyone is a critic and a reviewer nowadays. Thanks blogspot! haha.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Andy said...

What does it even have to do with the actual review? I mixed around a couple of reviews and for that "I know nothing about the band?". Ok....

Honestly here I thought I was helping out the band by giving them a bit of press especially for a local band. I guess though since I messed up on their debut album title it means I am not fit to be a critic or a listener. I must be 100% perfect and have no mistakes. You know even though mainstream mags and websites don't always get everything right and they get a pass it must be that I have to be held to a higher sense of standards. As an imperfect being I just can't. So with that I must quite this gig and my support of local Ohio music.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

anonymous-Did you come here to be picky or to read about this band? Considering this is a two year old album I am guessing you searched for this band and found this review. We appreciate your views on this album. However people make mistakes and there are nicer ways to point that out. Thanks for stopping by.

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh well. Some people get this record, some people don't. Margin of Error is an acquired taste, but one thing you can't ignore is the bands dedication. I don't know if I have ever seen a more high energy and big budgeted stage show in the underground. Their detailed concepts to their records and beyond is really unmatched by any modern band I have come across. This band is for real and will continue to move up the ladder regardless.

11:01 AM  

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