If the press release for The Patient Man is anything to go by, then the members of XIII have had a pretty torrid time of it over the last few years. Between facing up to a battle with cancer and losing a close friend to Multiple Sclerosis, it would have been easy for the three piece to become isolated from their own vision….instead, they channelled that anger into The Patient Man, the sophomore release from these sludgy-thrashers from Hull, UK.
The album kicks off with the inconsequential “2.0”, an instrumental which reminds you of some late 90’s industrial band and sounds dated to say the least. It’s a confusing intro as it bears no relevance to what follows.
Unfortunately, that’s not the only issue.
The main problem with The Patient Man is that XIII have produced a batch of songs that lack any real discernable hooks, and therefore blandly blend into one another with little or no focus. It’s angry enough, fuelled by personal turmoil which adds a potent sense of aggression but, frankly, The Patient Man becomes rather a chore to listen to, with the likes of “Deceit”, “Rust and Coal” and the title track being merely ‘ok’ songs at best.
The Patient Man is performed well – and the cold clinical production style really suits the subject matter – but when compared to some of the absolute belters we’ve already devoured this year, it’s hard to view this as anything but a non-distinct disappointment.
Patience may turn out to be a virtue but for now, ours was wearing thin. 5/10