Alea Jacta Est/Fat Ass split CDPosted on Monday, November 17th, 2008 @ 7:01am » permalink
The latest from Nothing But a Beatdown Records is a split CD offering six tracks apiece from French acts Alea Jacta Est and Fat Ass – two bands that I had never heard prior to this. Alea Jacta Est kicks things off with a thick, chugging style rooted in the niche of "beatdown" metalcore you'd expect from the label, though it's not all bass drops and mosh breaks by any means. There are actually a number of faster and more traditionally-based metallic hardcore rhythms, while a few subtly thrashy picking patterns or Slayer-esque metal riffs increase the variation to keep the songwriting interesting. Sure, expect gruff vocals with huge gang backups and loads of straightforward power chords that lean towards a simplistically chunky approach, but there's actually a lot going on beneath the surface here, so the material's not as stripped down as you might initially perceive it to be. Fat Ass then follows, and while I typically would not expect to enjoy a band with a name like "Fat Ass", I have to say that they're pretty god damn solid. As anticipated their approach isn't terribly far removed from that of Alea Jacta Est, placing a lot of emphasis on pounding basslines and chugging rhythms, granted their vocal delivery is more over the top (I could absolutely do without the sparse "urp urp" pig squeal moments, though, I hate that shit) and the compositions do tend to be a little more straightforward "beatdown" oriented. Their guitar tone boasts a little more texture, however, which actually lends a pretty interesting twist to their overall aesthetic, and really pays off when they unload some intensely discordant chord phrasings (check the intro to "The Devil's Rejects", which is incredibly fucking promising). This is the second straight release from Nothing But a Beatdown Records that's high-quality, in your face European metalcore, so I'll damn sure be looking forward to hearing what they drop next, without a doubt…
You can also download the 2007 demos from both bands (and loads of other material) through Nothing But a Beatdown's digital label, so check that out as well if you like what you hear above.