Revolution Harmony finally show their (disappointing) hand
A while ago I wrote about the impending release of Revolution Harmony, a single for the Buskaid charity composed by music journalist Ray Holroyd and featuring the impressive vocal talents of Serj Tankian and Ihsahn, with a guest solo from eccentric genius Devin Townsend. Now, the song “We Are” is finally available, but has it been worth the wait?
In short, not really unfortunately. You know what they say about lyric videos: you should always avoid them if your lyrics aren’t up to snuff, and sadly the lyrics here are pretty horrendous. Sadly, they’re trying far too desperately to be intelligent and “deep”, but instead come across as nonsensical and just plain baffling. Fitting in many complicated words into a song does not make you a song writing genius.
Musically, it’s a pretty basic keyboard heavy composition put together by Ray Holroyd that’s relatively uninspiring. There are some nice moments, but eventually the keyboards, while at first seeming tranquil and interesting, eventually become a massive annoyance. Occasionally the drums burst into life towards the end, but it’s all too little too late.
But of course, most of you are more interested in what each guest contributes to the Revolution Harmony. Frankly Serj gets most of the heavy lifting here, belting out the chorus and the first verse. The problem with his voice is that it’s a little outside of his range and sounds extremely forced and awkward. It’s especially disappointing when you consider that Devin Townsend was available and would have absolutely destroyed those parts (then again, he probably wouldn’t have agreed to sing those damn lyrics). Ihsahn is left rather neutered in his parts, sounding more reminiscent of Marilyn Manson than some of his more delicate solo work. His screams are sadly under utilized, only appearing once as background vocals to the final chorus.
The song’s climax is built around the inevitable appearance of Townsend and his frenetic guitar action. It’s ironic that the legendary musician who has gone on record multiple times saying that he hates guitar solos is now contributing one for another song, but I suppose it’s for charity so anything goes. It’s a great little jam at the end, but feels wildly inappropriate when compared to the methodically slow paced song it concludes. It’s also slightly disconcerting that the video sees fit to roll company credits while Devin frantically blazes out a solo that wouldn’t be out of place on Deconstruction.
Overall, the song is just a bit of a mess really. It’s attempting to sound “epic”, but ends up sounding muddled, confused and just generally disjointed. A real shame. It had good intentions, but ultimately falls completely flat. It’s been made for a really great cause, so if you have money to spare I would probably still consider donating, or even better, just donate directly to the charity.