‘Are You Kidding Me? No.’: The most well-rounded album of 2014

destrage-areyoukiddingmeno-800x800Are You Kidding Me? No. was released in March 2014. This album really put Italian band Destrage on the map for me. I interviewed Mat, the lead guitarist, back in February of last year and this might have resulted in a little bit of a bias for the band, but he was so damn likable and he introduced me to a couple cool video games I had never heard of, so of course I had to give his album a listen.

Lyrics

…the tracks from their 2014 release provide more imagery and tell a full story.

While the lyrics from their last album, The King is Fat’N’Old (2010) centered on themes that are a little surreal, the tracks from their 2014 release provide more imagery and tell a full story. However, there is one track called “Where the Things Have No Colour” that pulls you down into the bottom of the ocean where peace and silence might be found. This track has a kindof gravitational pull on my brain.

It starts out with a pretty little chord progression, reminiscent of the early ’00s, say Tantric‘s flavor of guitar licks, then takes you to an alternate world of rock.

“Where the Things have No Colour”

Can you remember when you were alive? Feeling the air as pure energy, blowing right into your mind. That’s what I felt if I had ever been aware.

I will sink deep into the ocean, where the things have no colour.
I wish I could breathe under water, where the cold will hurt. Where my ears will burn.

You won’t take this moment away from me and make me a silient slave of yours.
You won’t put me down on my knees. I will make this time as I always meant it to be.

Breathing as I never breathe before. I won’t be a victim of this ice cold scortching sun. I am that little child who laughs for no reason.

I will sink deep into the ocean, where the things have no colour.
I wish I could breathe under water, where the cold will hurt. Where my ears will burn.

You won’t take this moment away from me and make me a silient slave of yours.
You won’t put me down on my knees. I will make this time as I always meant it to be.
You won’t take this moment away. I will make this time as I always meant it to be.
Now I can look at things and see them as beautiful as ever.

You won’t take this moment away from me and make me a silient slave of yours.
You won’t put me down on my knees. I will make this time as I always meant it to be.
You won’t put me down on my knees.
You won’t put me down on my knees.
You won’t put me down on my knees.

Mood

Like something an angry desperado from the Wild West might compose…

This album is punky, poppy, and you can play it in almost any atmosphere–on your computer, in the car, with like-minded metal heads. Just be cautious playing a track like “Purania” too loud in the office. Coworkers in neighboring cubicles might think you’re getting pumped up for a round of Unreal Tournament instead of writing copy for a catering magazine.

And the title track is fun. It’s this bouncy romp through the energy field that is the connection that these guys have when they dig into their bones and pull out some of the most original music I’ve heard this year. It’s Dropkick Murphy‘s meets the Ramones, splashed with some Black Dahlia guttural vocals and Children of Bodom‘s crazy guitar licks. Like something an angry desperado from the Wild West might compose if there was such a thing as metal music in those times.


The Technical Stuff (for science!)

Destrage might be classified as prog metal, but I hear a gazillion different genres…

It’s a tricky thing to do, but Mat has figured out how to master the legendary mathematical chord progression and the vocals harmonize with the rest of the instruments, which is a complete surprise. When I first listened to this album back in March, I expected to hear a bunch of disjointed noise, (I mean, how could they pull this together, logically?) but instead of howling over a guitar and competing with the rest of the band, Paolo lends symbiosis to the overall sound.

Destrage might be classified as prog metal, but I hear a gazillion different genres out of Are of Kidding Me? No.

The track “Destroy Create Transform Sublimate” has some pretty Explosions in the Sky-type guitar solos where you can almost hear Mat’s intricate finger picking. Then they go right into the drop. This track alone has elements of classical music, complete with violins, like something you might hear during the climax of the heart wrenching sci-fi movie “The Fountain”. Right when you think you’ve got this song figured out, it takes a turn towards flippant dubstep beats and we’re off on another musical adventure… that’s like going on a journey to five different destinations all while listening to one song.

Signed to Metal Blade records, Are You Kidding Me? No. is Destrage‘s third studio album and in my opinion, it is the most well-rounded album of 2014. It has everything you could want when you’re in the mood for metal, especially when you’re bored with the repetitive downstrokes of other bands, and their lyrics keep you guessing.

There was a four-year gap between their last two albums, but here’s to hoping they can give us something to look forward to in 2015.

Published on Headbang ‘n Buttonmash.com

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