Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Voices : " Frightened"

Former members of Akercocke formed this progressive metal band. This is way more melodic that I expected and that is what drew me in further to this album. It has a wide array of vocal colors. The metal core of what these musicians creates from doesn't hamper it from bringing other elements ranging from post-punk to post- hardcore, though I guess these post-men aren't just ringing twice as any other post-sub genre can also be found. The mood at times reminds we of Katatonia when it comes to the shades of gray they languish in.Lyrically it's a pretty despondent look at the stories of the naked city. The opener also reminds me of Katatonia in how the drums gracefully move the song. The vocals are the rightful centerpiece as they go to some interesting places. Like the rest of the album they are well produced with effects layered over them to make give the feeling they are another instrument.  Harsher touches are applied , but the balance between singing vs growling seems to be perfect for that they are doing.

Before taking you deeper into this album I'll admit two things. One being I have not heard their first two albums. Second I haven't listened to Akercocke in seven years, though I used to like them.It's hard to hear where they second song begins and the first song ends, if you are sitting down to listen to this album straight through. The vocals get more dramatic and it ebbs down into a slower more sensual pulse. I have to keep looking up to check where I am at in the album, as the songs move from another like movements in a larger work. There is a more gentle almost David Bowie like vocal that I obviously love on "Evaporated". They managed to make their riffs angular without abandoning a sense of groove.  The first time is noticeable we are on a different song is due to the huge shift of dynamics going into the power ballad "IWSYA". This transitions into the heavier part almost like a depressive black metal band, though the drums keep it locked into a more progressive side.

"Dead Feelings" goes towards a more aggressive black metal side, but that is not to say they forsake the more melodic progressive leanings, as clean vocals surface along with a more Cure like guitar tone. "Manipulator" is way more melodic, though maintains the album's drive. Katatonia comparisons could be made though the likeness is merely circumstantial with them falling inn the same sonic realm. "Funeral Day" shifts the mood to a marginally darker direction, taking them further into a melodic direction. The keyboards are well placed through out the album. At a minute and a half "Fascinator" is more of an interlude than a song. "Home Movies" picks up the pace, before going into a more death metal section. This is the first time on this album the verses don't come together as well despite the excellent bass playing. Though it could be how it's venturing out of the pocket that is not giving it the same sense of groove previous songs had. It doesn't suck the first seven songs just raised the bar.

The brisk pace of "Sequences" does have a little more of a post-punk feel. It builds it's way into more of a metallic roar. One of the album's most impressive songs is "Footsteps". The punches swell like post-rock. Overall this album is very impressive  and I'll round it up to a 10. This might be one of the first contenders for prog album of the year and I normally hate when people say that , but it's hard to imagine someone bringing it in the dark and aggressive fashion these guys do though Katatonia might have an album coming out.  This album comes out April 28th, sadly there wasn't a download of it available so I'll have to keep watch for it to pop up on the normal places for consumption within the next week or so, I downloaded "London" to keep me occupied by then, so with

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