Title: Ultimum Minutis
Artist: X Trait
Release Date: 2014 Sept 14
Genre: Alt Rock
License: CC BY-NC-SA
Label: Self-Release

Introduction

X Trait: Ultimum Minutis is one of the times where I wish I wasn’t compelled to review a release.  Unfortunately, the artist submitted this release to me, and we try to make as much room for artist submitted releases on The CerebralRift as possible.

X Trait: Ultimum Minutis

Here is the thing about this release: I wanted to like it.  I wanted to have things that were positive to say about it.  Track after track, I wanted to be surprised by something on it: I wanted it turn out to be another Rotten Lily.  And, here’s the thing: there is potential for this artist, and that is what kept me listening to this release all the way through.  Sometimes I can hinge my listening on the smallest of details.

But in the end, there were things that I just could not overcome on this relaese.  For example the out of tune guitar on ¿Dónde Están Los Ríos? and Attitudes Pasionnelles.  Or the fact that many of these songs are simple ABA structures, and don’t have much of a forward movement to them, they just repeat sections or phrases over and over, just varying the instrumentation or setting some.  Or even worse yet, simple lead lines that sound more like exercises than they sound like fully formed melodies.

But the reason I still have some hope for this release is found on tracks like Terpsicore: there is variations on the theme contained in this track.  And there is a possibility that it could have been realized as a fully formed composition that wasn’t just a collection of sections with some of the instruments being out of tune (again, a big issue on this release).

Another thing that needed a lot of attention on this release: engineering and production.  There are numerous parts where this release definitely rocks.  Unfortunately, many of these passages suffer from flat sounding drums, with cymbals that are distorted / over-saturated sounding.

But I hope this artist keeps working at their craft.  There were some ideas in this release.  The manner in which the pieces moved through multiple settings, the few times where there were some theme variations, and an overall sense of intensity and energy in this work that made me feel as if this release had potential.  But it just needs a lot more work for this artist to realize that potential.

Conclusion

This is a release that shows an artist in the early phase of his / her work.  The pieces are rough, melodies need development, production / engineering needs a lot of attention, tuning the instruments needs to be watched carefully.  But still there is a focus and energy that gives me hope for the future of this artist.

X Trait: Ultimum Minutis

Name Your Price
5.5

Rating

5.5/10
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Posted by George De Bruin

2 Comments

  1. Thank you very much for the review!
    I really appreciate all the constructive criticism. Your review has confirmed many of our doubts and fears during the recording process. We’ll continue working on our music.

    1. Hi – I’m glad you took the criticism as constructive. I normally try to find more positive things to say, and make the negative constructive. I felt that (unfortunately) this review spent more time criticizing than I spent on identifying things you could build on… But that’s also a double-edged sword: I don’t want to push you to do something that doesn’t fit with your creative process. So, I decided it was best to keep some of my comments to a minimum, and just point out things that needed work.

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