Ok, the promosheet said, that you have to walk off the beaten track to get recognized the way you deserve it. When having a first quick look at the CD, An Early Cascade from Stuttgart, Germany, seem to take that quite literally with their new album „Versus“ : Have a look at the cover and you´ll see an old attic with lots of stuf floating around (carpet, chicken, ballons, milk...milk?! Yes, you got the picture I assume!), throw the CD into your player and as you can´t hear, you can´t hear anything, since the name of „Mute Mode“ was taken pretty literally again – it´s 20 seconds of...nothing. Congratulations, you made it to the second song and now you shall be rewarded for this with the first pretty cool track „Everything Is Wrong Everything Is OK“, that starts with some sounds, that could be on a CD of Muse as well. Vocalist Maik Czymara is able to prove right away how damn varied his vocals are – let him scream, let him sing clean, give him melodic stuff, it all seems to be easy for that guy! I have to admit, that even after „Moth Eaten“ (a bit heavier than song no. 2, more shouts and screams) and „Of War Is At War“ (even heavier and pretty chaotic), I´m still not able to fully describe what this band is about...their style is pretty varied. There´s Emocore elements, at times there´s elements that Dredg would be happy to use in their songs as well, you got a dash of Muse, there´s Metal guitars, brutal riffs and buzzing, whirring guitars, shouting, screaming and enchanting melodic singing parts... There´s one thing however, that becomes clear: Those guys have pretty good ideas, are versatile and know their stuff, however they are in danger of mixing stuff all too wildly. It sometimes seems as if they can´t quite decide what kind of style should be next and that on the one hand keeps the record interesting, on the other hand it confuses the listener, who is never really able to grasp the stuff fully. A part of the electronical gimmicks used in some songs, would sometimes better be left out. However, the promosheet already assumed, that walking off the beaten tracks and shocking their fanbase is a risk the band is willing to take. It might take a bit to get used to the new sound, but it should be worth it!
Whatever confusion some songs might create, especially calmer or slightly more solemn songs like „Dancing Upon The Moon“ and „Dead In The Water“ leave a pretty good impression. This band is able to fill songs of eight minutes with interesting material without repeating themselves – as shown in the last song and titletrack „Versus“
After listening to that album, you will recognize, that you will have to listen to it a few more time to get a proper idea of what „Versus“ is about, but one thing can be said right away: Despite some confusing outbreaks, this is a damn good album! Give it a chance!