Desdemona – Version 3.0

14/10/2004 § Leave a comment

CD Info
2004
Metal Mind Productions
12 Tracks
English lyrics

Version 3.0 runs for 62 minutes from start to finish. The total amount of playtime I have given this album is 62 minutes. I can’t believe that I waited so long for Desdemona’s next oeuvre in their repertoire only to be presented with this dreary dodectet. So what does it have to say for itself within one hour? Well, not much at all. 3.0 is not so much of an inspiring oration than an ugly, cacophonic pastiche of electronic clatter, bad lyrics and pretentious sound bites.

However, surprising though it may seem, I don’t want to be too negative about Desdemona since I have a lot of respect for them. The Polish metal scene is coming on in leaps and bounds and Metal Mind have been putting out a lot of good material recently with high-quality DVDs and CDs being produced at a rate of knots, so it’s unfortunate that there’s a bad apple in the bunch at all, but I suppose MM can’t keep up their red hot, full tilt pace forever. As well as that, Supernova was such a brutally brilliant album that I thought this band could do no wrong. Well, I don’t know what’s been going on in their heads over the last year, maybe they’ve been listening to too much Radiohead, but they’ve decided to lurch into the glorious and varied world of electronica.

Now, electronica is one of my favourite genres. It’s quite hard to make bad electronica. You just have to be able to have a good beat, a good chorus, some sampling thrown in, and you’ll have a track that will impress and please a lot of fans. Whereas metal generally either rock or flops, 99% of electronica will appeal to someone somewhere. That other elusive 1% is hard to find and you really have to make an effort to fall into its black hole, and Desdemona have done it beautifully unceremoniously, plunging themselves head-first into the chasm of musical bleakness. So what’s wrong with it all? 3.0 takes us through twelve tracks of Desdemona’s new direction, but one thing’s clear from the moment you first put this on – its not a direction they should be going in. Not only that, some of the songs are so bad that it’s like they’ve made a concerted effort to shoot themselves in the foot having completely lost respect for their own music.

The album starts off badly, really badly, with Zombie, which has some awfully harsh metallic chord punches with Agata singing “I had heart, I had soul” over and over again in a simple jostly little tune done with the vigour and maturity of a childish playground taunt. It doesn’t get better from there either, The Sinner starts with the line “They call me the Satan’s whore” before some thunderingly ugly keyboards pummel your ears for the rest of the track and which actually made me feel sick. And that’s basically the way the whole album goes from there, staying on a steady theme of awfulness, with Eternal Flame [no, not a Bangles cover] and Midion being the only two saving graces, not because they’re that good, but just because they’re not as atrocious as the rest of the album.

3.0 is a marvel in bad music. I really don’t understand the band’s motivation behind making this. Even power noise and some of the harsh nightmarish dins produced by bands like Dysmorphia have something going for them in an aesthetic way, whereas 3.0 has nothing. If there were some regulatory body that filtered out the good from the bad music before it hit the markets, 3.0 would have been tossed on the reject pile in seconds, not only because it’s bad, but because music at this level of hideousness should only be played to people with seriously unhealthy masochistic tendencies or jaded audiophiles who think they’ve heard everything. It is a thoroughly ghastly, unsettling album. I really can’t recommend this to anyone.

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