Soul Killing Female – Landmines

Soul Killing Female’s Landlines is a self-produced work by Michael Lewis that certainly has its influences on its sleeve and attempts to create an atmospheric experience with these influences in mind. The convolution of so many influences and the lack of collaboration leaves this album flat.

The album lacks any replay value since each song has a similar build-up and  never provides a lasting impression. Instead of an album filled with songs from a particular musician or group’s signature sound, Landmines is a rehashing of the artist’s need to find that perfect build-up that leads to a chaotic conclusion. The pattern becomes old on this album.

The weakest area is certainly the vocals, especially “Enter the Bloodstream” which is a half-decent song. The vocals are both repetitive and are basically Lewis just yelling a montage of phrases into the microphone.

With so many influences clearly heard, it is disappointing to find that Lewis’ compositions never finds a voice of his own. Production-wise, the album is adequate since Lewis only needs to fight with himself when it comes to mastering. Landmines offers nothing new or interesting to the progressive rock climate. Lewis has talent in playing the instruments, but the compositions need work.

If it is long songs that attract musicians to progressive rock, then we are fueling a generation of musicians to think that long songs are necessary. Landmines is a great offender as the shortest song is less than six minutes long and its greatest reaching thirteen plus. Yet, none of the songs have the substance and content to really make these long timestamps worth the journey. Even for sludge metal, I would not recommend this album to sit on the collection shelf.

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