||“Under Dead Skin” – (CD 2010)|
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A fascination for flesh, and it`s boundaries, for horror flicks and pornography, and the intense need to create and break away from the surrounding reality is what had pushed Thom and Swampthing to start the creature of Empty Playground sometime in 2004.
The concept was an experimental approach to basing the music on samples from horror movies, not just by gluing an intro/outro section but to have the movie characters help create the mood of a song by using specific quotes. In addition to that, Thom, using his many years of experience in jungle/electro music decided to have psyched out beats and synths incorporated and merge all this with aggressive metal music. Empty Playground doesn`t fit into any category, as they try to balance between genres and reach out for the elements that they feel can complete their music in a specific moment. This band goes grind when they feel to, nu-metal when they feel to, blackdeath-whatever or even not-at-all metal when they feel to – and the most important thing here is it all maintains form and is easily recognizable as their unique style.
After releasing their first EP in 2008 they toured a lot gaining much recognition. The self-published CD contained 6 tracks. Both the production and the way it was published, have been widely noticed in reviews for underground and commercial music magazines, and by fans. Setting the bar this high is probably the reason why just when they had finished their second EP they got a call from the label Witching Hour, which offered them a deal. “Under Dead Skin” is the first effect of this cooperation. Album was released as 9-panel digipak in ‘T’ letter shape. Apart from that Witching Hour released bloodred 7” EP limited to 500 copies (and hand-numbered) Evil comes closer…
Debut album of Empty Playground contains over 50 minutes of extreme sound! The band is using classical gore riffs to transform them into black metal fused with electronic beats! The most astonishing thing about Empty Playground is how they handle the variety of sounds & genres. We can assure you that you haven’t heard an album like this before!!!
All this has been neatly done, both musically by Wieslawski Brothers in Hertz Studio, and visually by Krysiuk&Kajko duo with the help of make-up artist Grzegorz Gawrysiak. All this is sealed in a 9 panel digipack T-letter fold by mentalporn.com. It’s a new era in the extreme music!!!
Swampthing -hatred and vocals
Thom – guitar
Lately I have received many promo CD’s from Polish bands that “belong” to the extreme Metal scene. What I have noticed is that more and more bands use Idustrial elements in their music. One of them is this quintet from Poznan (the goat city as the bands there call it), EMPTY PLAYGROUND. What made the first impression one me was the band’s name, which at first seemed too “simple”, but if you just think of this empty playground image, can be too spooky…
The band has been alive and kicking for 6 years, and it has already managed to release two EP’s, one self financed and one through its current label Witching Hour Productions, the label which also released EMPTY PLAYGROUND’s debut album “Under Dead Skin”.
With a music that is too brutal to be described as Industrial, yet too “electronic” to be described as Death Metal, EMPTY PLAYGROUND stand somewhere in the middle. With many samples from horror movies, brutal beats and a totally cold atmosphere, the polish madmen manage to attract your attention and serve you their own suggestion of how modern brutal music should sound like. Their music has this distinctive Polish Death/Black Metal sound, which may remind you a bit of DIES IRAE or THY DISEASE. The production is also really strong, as it should be since with Industrial elements in your sound you ought to have a crystal clear sound, and “Under Dead Skin” reveals every little detail it hides armed with this sound.
What isn’t so attractive in here is that the band may have some interesting ideas, but it ends up tiring after some listening sessions. I guess this is mostly because the songs have a similar character and atmosphere, something that makes them sound the same. It maybe also because of the samples from the horror movies, since they are so many that sound cool up to one point, after that they just sound boring…
Anyway, EMPTY PLAYGROUND clearly seems like a band with huge potential and they just need to take advantage of it and start spending a bit more time on the music itself, than the image, the samples and other “extra” stuff. Check them out because I think everyone may find even one interesting thing in there.
LORDS OF METAL: http://www.lordsofmetal.nl/showreview.php?id=16822&lang=en – 65/100
HEAVY METAL COSMOS: http://www.heavymetalcosmos.com/el/reviews/360-e/943-empty-playground-under-dead-skin – 7/10
After being motorpsycho-ed last Thursday, for almost 3 hours live, my respect has grown for this excellent band. In general metal bands perform one hour till one hour and a half, but not much longer. Okay most of the times the touring packages are too piled up with bands, so not a decent hour is left for every one and the music is more intensive and also a physical challenge to play, but what a pleasure to be able to watch bands performing over 2 and a half hours. Even some stadium rock bands can’t catch up with this.
But back to porn, horror and anti-religion; I see you thinking what is Bloodcorpse up to, but hey the new Empty Playground is trying to get under my dead skin. Empty Playground is from Poland and started already in 2004 to hack and crack their industrial death metal. Up till now only some small successes were booked, by the release of two EP’s. Now Witching Hour has given Empty the chance to come off the playground and to slaughter also new territories with their debut album.
Industrial death metal?! Yes I can say, that Empty Playground produces some kind of death metal with a small industrial touch. Industrial in this case has some similarities with bands like Ministry and Slipknot, but more with a band like Meshuggah talking about guitar riffs and soundwise. On the other hand the death metal influences ranges from Carcass traces to grindcore blood splatters and Relapse Record’s death metal bands. So quality instead of quantity is the standard here.
The only negative quantity, of this album is the fact, that all songs are separated by intros, spoken words, movie parts and other special sound effects. This distracts the attention too much from the technical good death metal and really takes the speed out of the album and even during the songs, which I think is an important aspect for the impact of an album in general and especially in this death metal genre.
An empty feeling remains after playing on this deathly industrial ground.
HEAVY HARDES: – http://www.heavyhardes.de/review-6879.html – 4/6
Combos aus Polen beschränken sich in der Regel auf zweierlei Spielarten. Entweder es handelt sich um eine Death- oder um eine Black-Metal-Band. Empty Playground sind zwar auch im Extrem Metal verwurzelt, versuchen aber auf ihrem Debüt Under Dead Skin neue Wege zu beschreiten.
Da soll heißen, Empty Playground integrieren Samples aus Horrorfilmen in ihre Songs. Jeder Track wird mit einem thematisch passenden Auszug versehen. Damit versuchen Empty Playground düstere und beklemmende Stimmung aufzubauen. Versuchen deshalb, weil das nicht immer sonderlich gut funktioniert. Musikalisch bedienen sich die Jungs dabei der unterschiedlichsten Spielarten. Hier findet sich typisches Death- oder gar Grind-Geballere, aber ebenso Versatzstücke aus Thrash, Heavy oder wenn es sein muss auch Nu Metal. Damit sind Empty Playground an Facettenreichtum fast nicht zu schlagen.
Auch in Punkto Songwriting sind die Polen auf der Höhe, auch wenn ich mir etwas mehr Stimmung gewünscht hätte. Die will sich auch nach mehrmaligem Hören trotz der oben erwähnten Stimmungsmacher nicht so recht einstellen. Somit ein gutes aber nicht herausragendes Album.
NECKBREAKER: http://www.neckbreaker.de/cd-reviews/3607-empty-playground-under-dead-skin 6,5/10