Oblivion Dust

Butterfly Head

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    8
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Though a Japanese band, Oblivion Dust have nothing to do with J-rock. The only compatriots fit for comparison are Monoral -- which is to say, Oblivion Dust also play Western alternative rock with English lyrics, and are shamelessly good at that. The two bands aren't really similar, however: while Monoral explore the depths of grunge/post-grunge, Oblivion Dust go for industrialized rock of the most speedy and catchy variety -- the obvious influence is Filter, and that sets the bar high, but Oblivion Dust are up to the challenge. They aren't from the "scary" industrial mob: Butterfly Head never sounds evil or clinically cold and, indeed, doesn't really sport any prominent synth parts. It's simply that the guitars churn out a slew of abrasive but melodic riffs that are just this side of catchy alt-metal: a bit heavier, and it would be like Sevendust, but there's a difference, thanks to the straightforward tempos that are speed-oriented rather than mosh-oriented. When Butterfly Head first came out in 2000, it had, in fact, a pretty fresh sound, but even if the novelty has worn off, the catchiness surely didn't; the album offers two monstrous hits, "DeSigner Fetus" and "Black Tongue," and the rest of the tunes, while not as brilliant, stand their ground well. Butterfly Head is quite laconic: there are no stylistic detours, no balladry, no meandering epics -- but Oblivion Dust do their work and go, and that's all that's needed. Butterfly Head is fast, intense, and addictive; it's also brief, which is a smart move, as the brevity prevents it from being monotonous. Not unique, sure; but overall, a damn fine heavy rock album.

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