"Science of Discontent" (Candlewax Records; 2000)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Every now and then a CD crosses my desk that makes me take notice; usually the CD is from a band that doesn't necessarily have name recognition at that time, but produces quality music and instantly makes me realize that the underground has a gem just waiting to be discovered. Minnesota's Gracepoint is one of those bands.

Gracepoint is progressive heavy metal with a thrash undercurrent. Gracepoint is most easily compared to Mystic-Force without the power metal overtones. Or perhaps another fair comparison would be a more progressive version of the severely underrated Damn The Machine. The riffs are tight and wiry without sinking into a quagmire of repetitiveness. The songs are arranged in a somewhat traditional rock'n'roll fashion; all this despite the progressive nature that actually helps the band achieve a 'catchy' vibe. My favorite tracks are the devastatingly inventive instrumental title track and the disc-ending tune "Your World."

The lyrics speak of discontent in various forms. Two highlights include the weight-of-the-world suffering of "Overwhelm" and succumbing of man to machine in "The Gallery." These two tracks are where the lyrics break free of the ordinary and into the realm of the extraordinary. 

The vocals are quite melodic, but not wimpy at all. I've been listening to a lot of 'growling' vocals lately and it was refreshing to hear something that wasn't harsh at all. The guitars bounce back and forth between the requisite crunch of metal and the more nimble figures that progressive music requires. The bass playing has the kind of 'busy yet not distracting' feel that Lars K. Nordberg of Spiral Architect. The drumming is inventive without being too over the top. 

"Science Of Discontent" has me salivating at the thought of hearing Gracepoint's next set of material.

"Science Of Discontent" was produced by Gracepoint. The vocals are a bit buried in the mix, but that one complaint is easily overlooked when taking the entire scope of "Science Of Discontent.". 

Gracepoint is Matt Tennessen on vocals, Lon Kunze and Stefan Radzilowski on guitars, Sam Van Moer on bass and vocals, and Lance Reed on drums, percussion, and vocals.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2001 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 10 Jul 2022 15:03:27 -0400.