02. Eyes of the BEholder
03. All At Once
05. Nuclear Baseball Bat
06. New Millennium Cyanide Christ (Meshuggah Cover)
In my humble opinion, the djent fad is becoming way too popular thus resulting in a lot of half-assed, uninspired and hollow music. There are a couple of djent bands that I like (Periphery, Uneven Structure) and only a select few of independent solo projects that I listen to regularly (Cloudkicker). However, Kevin Suter‘s self-titled EP shows that djent can still be fun to listen to if you do something different with it.
Before you go assuming, let me say that while it is different from most djent bands/projects, it still has a familiar vibe to it. There’s a lot of Meshuggah influence here, especially in the track “Eyes of the BEholder” that it may be almost frightening to listeners. That being said, Kevin’s main separation factor is this EP has (for the most part) a pretty deep soundscape. For one, the guitar’s tone isn’t vapid and dirty like most djenters. It’s thicker and has a much more low-end vibe to it. No worries, though, as this contributes to the EP’s overall depth. There are a lot of underlying dark ambiances here that really elevates things to a new level, which you can hear from the get-go with the opener “Prism”. Couple it with the groovy songwriting and you’re left with something that really stands out. In fact, that’s what makes Kevin Suter a much better djenter: groove. The songs themselves never go apeshit insane and tend to stay on the mid-tempo (sometimes upbeat) side of things. Though at the same time there’s much alacrity to be found. My personal favorite, “Prism”, makes me think of walking through the woods at night with the full moon above. It’s a wonderful contrast of brisk darkness that works well. Unfortunately, this creepy feeling doesn’t carry throughout the full EP. While tracks like “Zombie” and “Watcher” have abandoned-hospital-freaky sounds, tracks like “Nuclear Baseball Bat” and “Eyes of the BEholder” are seemingly forgettable and generic. I also really disliked the transition from “Watcher” to “Nuclear Baseball Bat” as it really killed the spooky atmosphere he just managed to create. Nevertheless, the multi-layered tracks are very strong through his creative guitar ambiances and enveloping VSTs. It’s a shame they aren’t consistent.
It goes without saying that “New Millennium Cyanide Christ” is pretty unwarranted. I’ve heard so many covers that I’m tired of it. After listening all I wanted to do was play the original. Is it bad? No, but I don’t think the song works well with djent. So its mere existence is disappointing and I would have much preferred another original song. Also, the closer “010001010100111001000100” (which stands for “End”) is a little too long and quite frankly, a little out of place. It’s freaky, I’ll admit, but it doesn’t really seem to fit the EP all that well. Had his EP been consistently dark things would be different. Nevertheless, if you shave off a couple minutes and ignore the awful midpoint that sounds like something off Meshuggah‘s Catch 33, it’s pretty cool and sounds excellent with great headphones.
[enter product placement ad of Sennheiser headphones here]
The EP is essentially only about 20 or so minutes long after you remove the outro and Meshuggah cover so don’t let the 40 minute accumulative length trick you into thinking this is an album. For what it is, though, it’s pretty good. It’s not the best djent I’ve heard, but it’s far better than most. I can see myself repeatedly listening to “Prism” and “Zombie”, but that’s it. At the end of the day, Kevin Suter delivers a solid EP. I think if he had stuck to the darker atmosphere more this would be a monster release. In his defense, the EP puts him way above the cesspool of most djent. And that, for me, is good enough.
Kevin Suter – Kevin Suter gets…