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'Denizens Of The Depths'
(Pavement Entertainment)
Release Date: Out now

Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland


RetConStruct are a five piece band from San Jose, California. The brainchild of guitarist Guy Valdes, there are two other members named Valdes in the band but we are only left to guess at what the relationships are.

The band name is shortened from Retroactive Continuity Construct and I think that is probably a good idea as I haven't a clue what the full band name means.

'Denizens Of The Depths' is the band's second album but I hadn't come across them before. After reading their self-description as a symphonic Metal music project I got a real surprise when I started playing the album. I don't know if the ideas behind symphonic Metal mutated as they crossed the Atlantic but RetConStruct are certainly not a symphonic Metal band in the European sense.

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Looking into the history of the band they started out playing industrial and electronic style stuff and while they may feel they have moved on from that there is little evidence of that here to my ears.

Songs like 'What Lies Below' and the quite groovy 'Mother Of Monsters' can only be described as industrial electronic style songs with some Metal overtones but certainly there is no attempt to do the grandiose, big vocals, pretend we have an orchestra thing that is the basis for most symphonic Metal.

Despite seeming like they use a live drummer over and above any electronic percussion the album still has that metronomic feel that drum tracks bring. That's not necessarily a bad thing if that's the vibe you're going for but when you add in the buzzing guitar sounds, the underproduced feel and the wailing, alternative Siouxsie Sue style vocals then you have a whole which is really more at home in a goth club than a Metal one.


Misleading description aside I do enjoy a lot of industrial, electronic and gothic music but the album doesn't really hold up to well on that front either. It all sounds very samey and the low tech home made sound they seem to favour here may be something that fits well into the vibe they're trying to create but it made the whole album a bit underwhelming overall.

Verdict: This album is a bit of a puzzle in many ways but RetConStruct do have a good industrial style groove and some nice touches here and there. The production and the overall songwriting let them down a bit though and they certainly need to look at their marketing.

Labels are a bit overdone in the Metal world these days but when writing a review like this they can be a help! If you like things gothy and low tech industrial check them out, if you're looking for symphonic Metal though look elsewhere.


Line up:
Guy Valdes - Producer and Lead Guitarist
Jill Valdes - Lyrics, Vocals and Art
Kyle Valdes - Drums and Percussion
Miriyam NachtWulfe - Bass Guitar
Austin Terry - Rhythm Guitar

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