28 Jul 2011

Commissioner - What is Commissioner? [EP] (2010, Self-released)

Big Chocolate, the very active brain behind Disfiguring the Goddess, former lead vocalist of Burning the Masses, Abominable Putridity, Misericordiam and Malodorous, and producer, and Mitch Lucker, lead vocalist of the deathcore titans Suicide Silence, got together in late 2009 and created Commissioner. Soon after they released their first track entitled Consume, and in 2010 they released the first EP called "What is Commissioner?"

So what exactly is Commissioner? In order to answer that question, we must examine the release closer. Their musical style has been referred to as "Deathstep", supposedly a mix of death metal and dubstep, but to me it sounds more like a unique blending of deathcore like Suicide Silence and Disfiguring the Goddess and various electronic genres, not strictly limited to dubstep, but also borrowing elements from such genres as house and electro. As an example, the second track of "What is Commissioner?", entitled Pray for the Sun, has some very distinct dark electro tendencies, while The March has more dubstep elements. The deathcore elements too are very noticable and you can easily hear the influence from Suicide Silence and Big Chocolate's work with Disfiguring the Goddess.

This five song EP delivers over 15 minutes of greatly varied electronic deathcore. The tracks are greatly different from one another, in no small part thanks to the myriad of electronic genres masterfully incorporated into the music. Though I am no fan of Big Chocolate's electronic soloproject it is obvious that he knows what he's doing. Although the guitars are rather monotonous and uncreative, the drumming and vocals easily make up for this. The ever-changing programmed drums have a high level of detail and the five tracks are riddled with nice fill ins. The compositions are diverse and varied and all songs bring something else to the table, and thusly the release is far from the same over and over again, and it seems like they've worked painstakingly to finetune all the minor details to make the EP more wholesome, creating a magnificent flow throughout the entire release.

That being said, I feel that Consume is by far the best track on there, and it seems like the duo used more time and care on that particular song than on any of the others. An expection to the otherwise great flow and detail of "What is Commissioner?" is the fifth and last track, which is a Big Chocolate remix of Consume (A Big Chocolate remix of a Big Chocolate song? Seems rather redundant). I find this last track completely unnecessary and flow-breaking. While the other tunes fit very well together, this remix is completely out of place and doesn't really live up to the high level of detail and quality of the other four tracks.

Other than that I'd say the about 20 minutes of the EP are well spent. There are close to no kinks to be worked out, and I'm looking forward to the next release of Commissioner. I only wish the coverart wasn't so damn boring.
Overall this experiment of entwined genres is well made. The production and overall sound fits Commissioner tremendously well and the EP has proven that electronica and death metal is not as irreconcilable as one would otherwise think.

Mitch Lucker and Big Chocolate's COMMISSIONER project is like a mix of Suicide Silence and a version Psyclon Nine that doesn't suck. The generally high level of quality and detail grants this release 8/10 guitars.

1. Click Click Flash
2. Pray for the Sun
3. Consume
4. The March
5. Consume (Big Chocolate Remix)

COMMISSIONER official site

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