A LA CARTE – “Soup Dejour” 

By Thor

A LA CARTE is a fairly new death metal band from Ohio, and they’ve just dropped their debut full-length album called “Soup Dejour.” Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that both the band and album names are food related terms. And get this: their songs are all about food! Hilarious, right?

So, A LA CARTE is among those death metal bands whose entire existence is a gimmick. Some of these bands are extremely well-regarded, serious musical engines, like NILE, for example. Others are more or less extravagant running jokes.

I’ll give you a couple hints about which way A LA CARTE leans: The band members’ names are Chef Highman, Chef Cuck, and the Maitre ‘d, and some of their song titles include “Hymen Drizzled Hotcakes,” “Scalped Potatoes All Rotten,” and “Fetal Fajitas.” In short, this band is silly. Not funny. Silly.

How about the tunes? Well, those don’t fair much better than the comedy does. “Soup Dejour” features 11 tracks composed of mostly cliché death metal tropes. A LA CARTE rolls out the good cop/bad cop death metal vocal attack over the top of notey riffs that are mostly anemic and forgettable. The bass playing is the musical highlight, and the drumming is decent too, just badly mixed. There are a few interesting musical passages, but they’re few and far between and difficult to appreciate given the album’s sloppy production.

I’m not a huge fan of theme bands. And death metal seems like a poor vehicle to deliver humor. Even so, A LA CARTE’s “Soup Dejour” missed the mark for me, entirely. I understand the difficulty it requires to maintain a band and to write and release music, so I’ll blame this miss on my own tastes. Your mileage may vary. (No Michelin stars for these guys, I take it...Chef Mality)