CALM – Are We Supposed To Be…

CALM - Are We Supposed To Be...


Nu Metal Recordz
Release date: 2003

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Calm’s debut CD, playfully titled Are We Supposed To Be… comes with a cover showing the three monkeys of the “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” triumvirate. Of course, it reads as a rhetorical question, as in “are we supposed to be calm?” Well, if they are supposed to be, it didn’t quite work out that way.

These guys are an oddity. They are as extreme vocally as Death Metal bands like Lamb of God, but then tone down the vocals in other sections, sounding like, well, at their best, a lesser version of Faith No More. And that’s saying a lot; Faith No More was one of the most innovative bands of the Metal genre, often misunderstood. Seems like Calm may be going for the same “misunderstood” moniker, and they come close …

Song two, “The True Face of …” begins with a mellow, monotonous guitar bit and toneless vocals. Then, while the vocals drone along, a Death Metal bark joins in. When they sing over each other, it makes for a interesting effect, but the barking is hard to understand. Then, right when the song picks up, it turns to a melody-less keyboard piece and more droning vocals. It sounds very eerie, and melds into the chorus, with regular and death vocals again. About 2:26 into the song, falsetto cackling vocals appear from no where, scream for a few lines, and then disappear under the death vocals. Odd, but cool.

“Hear No Evil” sounds like a Ministry composition, with news playing over industrial sounding music. It bleeds into “Serendipity, code 2.” This is another noisy as hell, brutal song, with an extremely annoying high pitched beep accompanying the first minute of the tune. This song seems to have more direction, right up until 1:45 into the song. Then, it’s just the searing beep, those odd, shaking vibrato shrieks again. At least the chorus, a continual yelling of “no regrets, no regrets!” lets you sing along.

Marilyn Manson would write “Beneficial dinner” if he would have thought of it first. It begins with the normal Nine Inch Nails rip-off sound, vocals uttered at about half breath, and then just a strange journey with Gwar type chanting, more nutball falsetto vocals, and the line repeated through the song at different intervals “am I a happy bitch.” What? At the end of the song, they turn into Slipknot, with clean melodic vocals and more barking.

Track 11 is one of the most fun tracks, called “A hoax til the day we die.” There is no beginning; once it starts, vocals and music at the same insane speed, you are already into the song. Right when you think they couldn’t go any faster, the song turns into a beautiful, slow piece, with the singer crooning, “A hoax til the day we die.” It’s actually funny, but somehow, Calm pulls it off. This has Faith No More written all over it.

But before you clap your hands for their weirdness, listen to song 12, “Speak no evil.” It’s a repetition of the same voice saying “over and over, over and over, over and over,” for about 4 minutes. All the while, a truly annoying music grates on your nerves. This one … doesn’t work. It’s like Chinese water torture, which may be what they are going for …

Calm doesn’t fit the mold, but they don’t break it either. It is difficult to be innovative in any genre today, and it doesn’t help when they play in two or three different genres, all in the same song, at times. This is experimental at the very least, part Nu-Metal, part Death Metal, part Hardcore, part Rock. “Odd, but cool” sums it up as well. It takes a few listens before you can come to ANY conclusion about Calm. And maybe that’s all they are looking for …

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