Discography '93-99'

Lethargy - Discography '93-99' ©2000 Spoth Records
CD One:
1. Subtle
2. Stitch
3. Little Man
4. Image Tool
5. Grope
6. Carebone
7. Humor Me
8. Create
9. Spill
10. Erased
11. Medley
12. Spineless
13. Thread
14. Among
15. Humorless
16. Outro
CD Two:
1. Intro / Lost In This Existence
2. The Entombment
3. Among The Dead I Lie
4. This Persistent Unknown
5. Grieve Into Eyes That Bleed
6. Intro / Tainted
7. Sane
8. Soil
9. All Things End
10. Distraught
11. Humor Me
12. Create
13. A Moment Away
14. Breathing You
15. Thread
16. "Jabba"
17. Lost In This Existence (Unplugged)

The most interesting thing about Rochester, New York’s Lethargy are the bands that were spawned from its dissolution. Guitarist Bill Kelleher and drummer Brann Dailor would later spend time in Today is the Day and, of course, go on to form Mastodon, a band that has generated more hyperbole, plaudits, vicious hatred, and division among metal fans than any recent band I can think of offhand (I happen to like them). Now, their former band, largely the vehicle of guitarist/screamer Erik Burke (Kalibas, ex-Nuclear Assault, Brutal Truth…this guy has certainly been around), specialized in a mind-bendingly technical brand of death/thrash, with frequent nods to Death and Atheist (especially in the bass parts). The only problem is that there is not a single song throughout this entire two-disc compendium of their entire recorded output that sticks out in any way, shape and form (with the possible exception of the final track, an almost surf-rock/1940s detective version of “Lost in this Existence”). While the band’s ability to play their instruments with flashy technical skill is undeniable (notice how I avoid using the word “talent”), it sounds to me as if Burke and Kelleher were just throwing wildly atonal riffs at the wall and seeing what sticks. Song structures change, morph, and twist in such a way that the listener is never given time to assimilate what is happening behind the music (something Chuck Shuldiner would never have allowed). Brann Dailor’s drumming is, as he has proven time and time again, something to behold (and a bit too much, at times), but Burke’s vocals, a gruff hardcore shout by way of Chuck Shuldiner, lack any identity whatsoever.

While Lethargy’s legacy has spawned and bled into more than a few more erstwhile bands, that is no reason to shove plaudits upon them, especially when the music the band itself specialized in was so bland and boring.

Review by Alec A. Head

Review date: 04/2008

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