Review: Bipolar Disorder “Threshold of Madness”

Review: Bipolar Disorder “Threshold of Madness”

- in Reviews

Ok, let’s see where to begin with this…

I think the first place to start would be for me to advocate that you give the band a chance. I may always suggest this because every band deserves a fair go, but this is a tough listen people, in fact it’s difficult to get through this album in one sitting.

Italian death/thrash band (I say that with hesitation, but that’s what I have seen them labelled as) Bipolar Disorder have a delivered a little nugget here. Now before I get into the nitty gritty of this album, although I will still keep it to the point, I must tell you that at one point I chuckled and that has never happened.

So, I might just do a positive and negative comparison on this as well and see where it takes us. Let me start with the positives, all two of them:

I don’t know where they came from, but the leads are by far the best thing about this album. Apart from the first song ‘Unleashing The Fury’ which had the most promise, you end up so surprised at how these great leads managed to find their way onto this recording? It’s puzzling.

Then the best song on the album is an instrumental called ‘When It Rains’. It’s actually quite good once you hit the 1:37 mark, because something weird happens between 1:00 and 1:37 that leaves you questioning their musical direction.

And this brings me to the negatives…

I don’t know who or what these guys are supposed to be, and if it has something to do with the band name then I must be honest, I don’t think it’s intentional. At face value I am not hearing death/thrash, if that is what they are, maybe they aren’t even that? I’m not sure. I’m just not sure about all of this. I’m hearing a Battle of the Bands heavy metal audition band that does not make it past the qualifying round, and who are making the judges wish the last seven songs of the album were instrumentals. It’s bewildering. But more importantly it leaves me thinking that recording a debut album is a big moment for any musician or band, why not wait until it’s polished? There is some potential there with those leads.

Why rush into the studio with something like this that may never get you any return customers? I don’t get it.

The disconnect between the vocals and the music is stark, and the disconnect between the leads and everything is just as stark. I also can’t put my finger on whether the timing is out or not, but the drumming sometimes just made it sound as though it is. The rhythm is so safe yet tries not to be, but on the odd occasion that it isn’t safe and leaves you thinking ‘now we’re getting somewhere’, it surprises you by heading in another confused direction. Like I said earlier, they’re at the auditions but they don’t make it past the qualifying round.

If I had to overview this album I would say this:
• The album artwork needs attention. I don’t think an album title should ever overpower the band name.
• The drumming is one-dimensional and unexciting and seems mistimed because of it.
• The rhythm is safe and confused. The moments that leave you wanting more are few and far between and just get shattered by chords that don’t belong. It’s almost as though the guitarist has come up with a whole plethora of riffs whilst practising at home and then feels like all have to be made into a song.
• Then there are the vocals… oh dear. They really do leave you wishing the last seven songs were instrumentals.
• And then along come these fantastic leads! I don’t get it!

Maybe it’s all in the band name, I don’t know.

Til next time.

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