‘The Book of Eliot’ is the third album by French industrial/groove/melodic/miscellaneous goo metallers Hord, released on April 22. They’ve shared stages with the likes of industrial metal titans Fear Factory, which is impressive, yes? Well, frankly, no. 2012’s ‘The Industrialist’ aside, Fear Factory have been utterly obsolete (hur hur) since the late-90s, as far as I’m concerned. But even their triumphant return was still pretty mediocre by their old standards.
But I digress. And you could forgive me for doing so if you’d heard this ‘epic’ release. Mother of god, I’d rather write a thesis on the science paint drying than review this beige-coloured, flavourless album. ‘The Book of Eliot’ starts off lifeless and dry with zero soul. It opens with a piddly little intro with “atmospheric” shimmery piano overlaid with “atmospheric” tinny guitars, overlaid with DUUUUUUUUUUN (you know, for the atmosphere), overlaid with “clean” vocals that utilise so much echo you can barely understand a word being said. “Bluherereuh London bridge bluherereuh” WHAT?
And guess what? It starts as it means to go on. Less than two minutes in and it starts recycling itself, but then it gets aggressive and there seems to be hope, but then it reverts back to sucking. Both the clean and growled vocals throughout are devoid of real emotion. Most of the big riffs are hackneyed and generally unimpressive. Each sorry mess of stuttering riffs and dinky keyboard blends together, making songs fairly difficult to discuss individually.
‘Confession’ opens brilliantly, then falls flat. Seven minutes later, ‘Landscape with the Fall of Icarus’ comes along with a fairly ass-kicking death metal groove, offering a tantalizing taste of strong ale in a sea of lager. They are unquestionably at their best when they go full-attack, with balls-out riffing and shouting. Alas, these moments are few and far between.
This is a concept album, but don’t ask me what it’s about; I haven’t got a clue. Even if the story was some brilliant Mark Twain shit, it doesn’t matter because I can’t stand the music. I literally can’t force myself to listen closely enough to follow the narrative.
However, I have no qualms whatsoever recommending this album to fans of modern sounding metal. It is melodious and accessible, easy listening if you will. It’s not my cup of tea by a long shot, but there is certainly an audience for it (fans of Insomnium would probably dig it). After all, some people eat Corn Flakes, right?