Friday, May 20, 2016

Thraenenkind "King Apathy"

This band features members of Heretoir, so for some reason they get pegged as being post-rock, post-punk, but it feels like crusty metal to me so I am a little confused. Sure there is some atmosphere to it. The bass player is on point. The title track is straight up metal with little need to try and dress it up with other sub-genres, though it's obvious these guys influences hail from the days of Myspace. Unlike Heretoir I would not call them gaze anything either. They do go from a mid-paced emo like riff into black metal, but that is really as close as they come to that whole thing. While this album is heavier and more metal than Heretoir, it doesn't pull me in as quickly.The throaty vocals feel like this is a more metal version of Hotwatermusic or Coalesce. So post- hardcore is a more fitting sub-genre than post-whatever else. Given the organic feel of this music I am not surprised that these guys are straight edge vegan anarchists . Once upon a time it was more surprising to find some one in the hardcore scene who wasn't.

The song "Urban Giants " hammers ahead more like hard-core and has some catchy punches to it, but it came across like an extension of the previous song to me. The well blended  melodic nature of what they do, never feels strained against the heavier dynamics . The fact the songs are screamed rather than sung, does give them a slight monochrome feel by the time you get mid-way into the album.  They pull out some blast beats for a few seconds on "the Blood On Our Hands". If the lyrics are really preachy then I am glad these songs are screamed, because I don't care about their goody two shoes post-modern hippy ways. They songs are concise and these guys jam a range of dynamics into the five minutes or less they spend wisely rocking you out. These guys put some genuine emotion into what they do so I have mad respect for that even though our world views might differ. They come closest to a more Deafheaven like version of shoe gaze on " Smokestacks and Concrete Walls". It's the first time this comparison really strikes me, and like ostriches metal heads can put their head in the sand when it comes to the self awareness of bands and the bandwagons they jump upon. However I would not pigeon hole these guys are a band that wishes they were Deafheaven.

They ease into "Vanishing Youth" and show a surprising amount of restraint as I am waiting for the blast beats to come in at any minute, this also has me re-thinking the shoe-gaze. The subtle under current of double bass gives a gradual build. When it hits the three minute mark I am surprised that they have not blown their wad yet. When they do it's more of a hard core like explosion, though they eventually find their way into the blasting. They gave in, but not in the most obvious or formulaic manner, so they get props for the arrangements. They close strong with "Homeruiner" which is pounded home with deliberate authority and resists taking the easy way out and running to the safety of being able to blast their way out of the song. I'll give this album a 9, I am not desperate to get it onto my iPod , but really enjoyed listening to it and giving serious consideration to downloading it.The vocals are the only weak spot and even then they work better than most bands who resort to that kind of thing.

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