Withered Earth Into The Deepest Wounds

We've seen myriad nu-metal bands incorporate death metal rudiments into their music, but less frequent are death metal groups outfitting themselves with nu-metal trappings. As for upstate New York's Withered Earth, they seem unable to make up their minds. "Remnants Of Unfruitful Existence" starts out with a whiny, Tom Morello guitar riff; front-man Adam Bonacci's bellowed growls, à la Soulfly, Toby Bailey's funky bass line copped from Disturbed; then drummer John Paradiso heaves the whole conglomeration into overdrive, like System Of A Down while interspersing Incantation-style blast beats into the frenzy. "Supernatural Terror Unearthed By Storms" unfurls shredded sheets of Slayer-esque chord progressions then caves in on itself with its wildly shifting beats. In fact, the ever-changing tempos of "False, Emotion, Despair" are enough to disrupt a heated mosh pit. "From Whence The Flesh We Conquer" begins with black metal grind spurts then degenerates into pure cacophony, making the term "mind-numbing" no longer a compliment. Maybe I just don't get it, but if Withered Earth is trying to be an Ozzfest second-stage band, then they should simply take the Six Feet Under route: hire a washed-up rapper to guest on your new album. (Olympic)