Magwi - _Magwi_
(Jusin Productions, 2004)
by: James Montague (2.5 out of 10)
Sometimes reviewing can be a real chore. Not so much because you occasionally have to write about really bad albums, as that can be as much fun as praising the good. But it's the utter feeling of emptiness you get from listening to 40 minutes of unremarkable drivel -- and doing so twice, in the interests of openmindness and whatnot -- that really brings the spirits crashing to the ground.

Enter Magwi, one of the more futile bands to sidle innocuously into my sphere of consciousness. "Magwi" means "Demon" in English and they come from South Korea and play brutal death metal! Oh, golly. I mean, that's just awesome. I can't wait. So I set about listening to the first track, entitled "Demon" (just in case you didn't get it the first time). The obligatory winds and haunted house intros lead into a riff lifted straight from Slayer's "Raining Blood", possibly heralding a generic but tolerable metal experience. Alas, no: the band then launches into some weak tremolo riffing, followed by a rather unimposing, quasi-militaristic riff. Back and forth, the song lurches lazily between these two modi operandi. The drummer and vocalist add nothing to this impotent mix -- toothless growls and snare beat obsessions are the name of the game, but I don't want to play. The formula repeats itself for eleven tracks, with the very same military stomp appearing in each and every track. On the sixth track, "Rotten Priest", they continue to knock out these riffs, but at a lower tempo. That just means the song lasts longer, which isn't what we needed.

Magwi will no doubt gain points in certain quarters because they remain true to old-school values, essentially rehashing ideas from early Morbid Angel and Deceased -- and being from Korea, they may score a few sales through curiosity value. But let's call a spade a spade -- this CD excels in mediocrity and contributes nothing to the music world. Keeping the old flames alive? Albums like this only serve to smother them.

(article published 12/9/2005)


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