Procedure - The Ancestor's Tale (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


The Ancestor's Tale (2009)


Bill Henderson's name is probably most familiar for being a founding member of Thursday and doing a swell job making records sound loud at Azimuth Mastering (those credits include With Honor, De La Hoya and a ton of other smaller hardcore/punk acts). But the dude keeps pretty busy with his own plethora of low-key projects too, whether it's the speedy Between the Wars, tongue-in-cheek (?) metal act Helcaraxe, experimental solo affair Annelids, jokey hardcore unit X One Way X, or in this case, metallic (post-)hardcore outfit the Procedure. Between the Wars is my favorite of all these, while I kind of enjoyed the Procedure's last album, 2005's Shift Pacific, as it sort of reminded me of a less developed Boy Sets Fire. Unfortunately, The Ancestor's Tale doesn't do too much for me at all.

Things don't get off to the greatest start, as "After Man" is a pretty meh opener of crunchy, murky `90s alt-metal like that of Helmet or Quicksand's less interesting moments. Things settle down, and occasional BSF similarities are somewhat prevalent, intentional or otherwise, throughout the rest of the album's course. But the sound is generally thicker and gruffer, in a sort of nonetheless underwhelming way. The songs just seem awfully disjointed and come off much more like promising ideas than structured compositions. "Retrovirus" is a conglomeration of cool riffs, but doesn't offer any real dynamic or hook to grab onto, while the vocalist's congested snarls in the early stages of "Take It" shout through the speakers with little incentive, faring mildly better during the song's breakdown later on.

As I said before, Henderson is low-key. Real low-key. I hadn't even realized the Procedure had anything new in the works when I opened the package containing this album, so it was a nice surprise to get. But once I threw the album on, it was a pretty abrupt letdown, and nothing really jumped out even after multiple spins. Not to discredit the potential of the other guys in the Procedure, but hopefully Henderson isn't just spreading himself thin, and merely has other, better things up his sleeve in the future.

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