Dross from start to finish

Ebola: a lovely name for a band you must agree, but then again, I grew up listening to Anthrax, which is more or less the same thing. Whereas the word Anthrax has become synonymous with a classic metal band I doubt, on this release at least, Ebola is going to be any more than a horrific experience...as well as a pretty horrible disease.

Born in the northern suburbs of Rome, Ebola are a metal core outfit with death metal tendencies. However the press release states they don't fall into the homologation's whirl. It took several days to find out what homologation actually means, in short it is "the granting of approval by an official authority." (You see, you learn something every day!) Apart from scouring the thesaurus for fancy words to describe themselves, the band try to play fast and hard whilst attempting to keep their distance from the usual stereotypes of this type of music. At least this is what they claim.

It is a generic and quite frankly over used claim made by bands, record companies and agents to make a truly dreadful collection of music sound interesting. To give it the impression that there's more to the songs than one blazing tuneless row, which of course sums up Ebola quite nicely. Such claims tend to have me pressing that ole alarm button, yet with Ebola's first release, 'In Borrowed Plumes,' I was in danger of a full hull breach.

The songs are pretty tinny to the ear, but this is mainly due to the demo style production. Vocalist TEG, for the most part SCREEAAAMMMS! A high monotone scream without intonation or inflection, which makes his vocal lines pretty tiresome and irritating. On the occasions he's not screaming like a tortured jackdaw, he uses the spoken word. This somehow manages to be out of tune, as well as badly placed in the songs. The press release also claims a part of the band's originality is born from TEG's decision to sing in Italian. But if a vocalist is delivering incoherent screaming you can't tell if he's singing in Italian, English or even Ancient Hebrew for that matter.

Musically 'In Borrowed Plumes' has its moments; most namely in it's quieter passages when the oppressive din has subsided. 'Lemuria' has a clever mellow section that seems to come out of nowhere, whereas 'Tragica' has an acceptable, tentative start only let down by TEG's monosyllabic mutterings. Apart from nice touches such as this, this E.P is pretty dire. The riffs are throw away, the musicianship is never really showcased and the use of melody is almost non-existent.

Any fans of 'Blood has been Shed' or 'With Passion' may be interested in Ebola's offerings. I don't have an aversion to extreme metal, just an aversion to poorly conceived ideas and hideous vocals. Sadly, in my eyes, Ebola have these areas perfected. Perhaps not the worst thing I've heard, that accolade still goes to Drowning Man, but there's more to being original than singing in Italian and adding some mellow moments.