Event - Human Condition

Year of Release: 2001
Label: InsideOut Music America
Catalog Number: IOMACD 2021
Format: CD
Total Time: 48:32:00

Event's latest Human Condition is a very digital, industrial sounding affair. Not to suggest they all sound like they're playing synths, but each instrument, including Dave DeLugo's vocals, seem to be electronically enhanced - that, metallic special effects added - this most apparent on "Faces" which sounds highly digitized. What this gives the album is a rather cold and harsh feel - smooth metal surfaces, dry air... it all seems so impersonal, clinical. On the one hand, it provides that distance on which the band can comment on the Human Condition, on the other it makes the album one hard to enjoy just on a sonic level. I find I want a little warmth in there. I'd put it all down to my stereo, but I've played it on three different ones in the past week or so, including the high-end stereo...it's a little too metallic and dry for my tastes. And yet, not enough Metal.

Event made me think of a synthesis of Vanden Plas, Angel Dust, Queensryche, and Soundgarden. Mostly I find myself thinking of recent Queensryche, from about Hear In The Now Frontier through their recent Q2K. In fact, this was the kind of sound I was expecting for Q2K, but don't they achieved it. Each time I listened Human Condition I couldn't get out of my head a song that I had previously downloaded from the internet by a band called Blank. The song called "Perfect Illusion," which I reviewed in my December 1999 editorial and felt must really be called "Impending Desire." However, that band was not called Blank, as I've recently discovered (in prepping this review) that it is actually Event (from Electric Skies (1999)).

"Human Condition," oddly, had me thinking of Dave Matthews Band at times...nothing very specific, just a certain cadence of DeLugo's voice and a way of his delivery. I read someone's comment somewhere that they felt that Event were trying too hard to be Pain of Salvation. I don't quite hear that myself, except that like POS, this is message-metal.

Anyway, aside from the "metallic" sound of the album, I quite like the performances here. DeLugo has a good voice, very much like Geoff Tate's but not quite at clone level. Drums are used throughout, but lack a certain punch. Matt Scurfield uses enough of the kit to prove his a competent drummer - he does get the focus at times, playing a funky beat to open the album and again during "Insensitive." Shaun Michaud's guitar solos often make me think of Queen's Brian May, circa 1980 (i.e. The Game, for example). When he solos, his guitar suddenly bursts up out of the mix.

I think there are some great arrangements here, some very thoughtful and thought provoking lyrics, but it doesn't quite feel as if they live up to their potential. For all the power inherent in the music - the percussion is driving when it does get to separate from the mix, the beefy solos, the impassioned vocals - it seems as if they pulled themselves back a bit. I find I want them to really let loose, to play with a lot more aggro. So, while I like it, I don't love it.

Drug Of Choice (4:04) / New Chemicals (4:11) / Blind (4:59) / The Director (5:16) / Faces (4:13) / Twisted Game (3:53) / Insensitive (4:27) / Human Condition (5:00) / Coincidental Existence (4:12) / Stop Complaining (4:07) / Indecision (4:10)

Shaun Michaud - guitars, programming, and backing vocals
Matt Scurfield - drums
Jay Rigney - bass
Dave DeLugo - vocals

Electric Skies (1999)
Human Condition (2001)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: March 21st 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1048
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]