Twitching Tongues - Gaing Purpose Through Passionate Hatred
“Gaining Purpose Through Passionate Hatred”
By: Dustin Koetsch
Twitching Tongues is a band I’m not terribly familiar with, over the years I’ve listened to their music only in passing. In fact their newest album is by far the one I’ve listened to the most and I’ve had a genuinely confusing experience while digesting this intensely sporadic album.
The album itself starts with a flow of melancholic acoustic guitars that frenetically blast into harsh over driven brashness. The first thing my ears are immediately drawn deeply into, is how much Colin Young’s vocals have seriously improved from the various songs I’ve heard. His low smooth crooning vocals give such a sharp contrast to the music being played and yet it coalesces so well at the same time, almost so much that when there is a section where Colin screams or delves into his hardcore roots it seems almost generic and out of place. Some of the more “soft” and less aggressive songs on the record (Kill For You, Forgive and Remember and Long Gone) show Colin channeling hints of Peter Steele, Dave Vanian, and Andrew Eldritch all mixed together. He’s got so much talent and range vocally, and it truly shines on this record and those songs specifically.
The band has had a complete line-up change on this record, except for the two brothers Colin and Taylor. Their new guitar player Sean Martin adds some interesting things to the mix, the opening track “AWOL State of the Union” and “Forgive & Remember” have some excellent harmonized melodic parts that I wish went just a bit longer and were used more often throughout the record. There are some nice hints of various genres infused without, there's some hardcore, some doom metal, some metalcore, some death metal, its a real melting pot of everything and sometimes it leaves you feeling like they would just pick a style and stick to it, but at the same time I cant fault them for really expanding their sound to showcase each of these styles in some way, some songs more adept than others at doing so.
At the heart of this record is pure anger but its just slightly obfuscated through the more genuine and softer moments of the record like the heavily melancholic and Piano driven “Long Gone” I think a lot of that anger shows through from the lyrical side of the music. I admire all the chances Twitching Tongues took on this record, there's enough here to really showcase all their influences sometimes a little too much, which, regrettably brings me to my biggest gripe and one of the hugest flaws on this record.
The track “Gaining Purpose”, whether by accident or on purpose, from about 2:42 to the end of the song, very very heavily rips off Cannibal Corpse’s “From Skin to Liquid” off their 1998 album “Gallery of Suicide.” It stuck out to me immediately when I heard this entire 1 minute of that Twitching Tongues song. It almost ruins this entire record because of how heavily similar it is to that Cannibal Corpse song. On one hand it regrettably shows how unoriginal this song and possibly the band is, because it isn’t simply one riff that's borrowed and played its almost the entire songs riffs in that one minute. It then makes me retroactively wonder what other tracks are borrowed riffs that I’m just not recognizing? Only because I’m not as familiar with other bands catalogues as much as I am with Cannibal Corpse. It was such a disappointment getting to this part of the record and immediately wanting to turn it off for the blatant similarities. Now, do I think they did it on purpose? I don’t have a good answer. Because, its hard to say these days whether a band rips another band off on purpose or is simply “inspired” by another band and makes something similar. They genuinely could have wrote that with 100% pure intentions not knowing it was a Cannibal Corpse song, but to me, the similarities are so striking that its impossible to think it was purely an accident.
Twitching Tongues “Gaining Purpose Through Passionate Hatred” has a deep, dark, melancholic soul of immutable anger, with beyond exceptional vocal performances from Colin Young. But ultimately is tarnished by 1 minute of unabashed guitar plagiarism.