When I was younger and living at home with my parents, my brother and I had rooms right across from each other. My room was pretty cluttered, but very organized. There was a lot of crap everywhere, but it was all arranged in patterns that made sense. Walk across the hall into my brother’s room and you’d see a gigantic mess. There was stuff everywhere and no real rhyme or reason as to why anything was anywhere. We both had tons of stuff, but in one room it was strewn everywhere while in the other everything had its place.
Messenger, by Adonis Decay, is a lot like my brother’s room – it’s a mess. It’s apparent that they were going for a very scatological approach to how they wrote their songs, trying to incorporate many different elements of heavy music into a cohesive whole, but cohesive this is not. There are random pig squeals tossed around, some melody every now and then, and then there are some grind moments followed by a thrash solo, only to be tossed aside for some melodic rock strumming and a couple of double bass fills. In some cases, this is a recipe for success, but when the elements aren't put together all that well, it just doesn't work.
Take the second track, “The Red Beyond”, for example. It starts off with melodic singing and some metal riffing, obviously trying to emulate some of Between the Buried and Me’s more constrained moments. After about two minutes of this, the screaming and growling comes out with some double bass only to be followed at the three minute mark by a guitars solo and muted, ambient passage. And of course the vocals need to make a reappearance along with some sort of guitar build up before the song closes on a quite outro. This is not necessarily bad in and of itself, but the flow wasn't very smooth. And on top of things, this is the most cohesive track to be found on this album.
With “The Red Beyond” things at least felt like they worked for the most part. At many other points in the album, the transitions from one style to another, as well as the combinations of elements, feels unnatural and forced. Focus is a virtue, not a vice. Considering this is only an EP, I’d be afraid to hear what the band would have done on a full length. No doubt it was good for the band to get this out of their system and to put to tape what they felt was a set of crazy good metalcore songs, but hopefully upon reflection they’ll see that they need to reign themselves in and focus on songwriting going forward. There’s a lot of talent here that could be molded into something great if allowed to mature. Let’s hope that’s what happens.