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Whenever (if ever) a band decides to branch out and experiment be it for one album or forever, there is always a backlash. MDB experienced this when they released the brilliant but highly controversial record '34.788% Complete'. This album, while retaining the bands Doom Metal edge, enormously expanded on their already original sound. The hostility that it met (and sadly still gets) apparently caused the band to do a 180 as 'The Light at the End of the World' is perhaps a better follow up to 'Turn Loose the Swans' then say the aforementioned.
The production is a little thin, but better than the bands earlier works. There is a lot of repetition on here by way of the same riffs being rehashed continually in every song. From a droning/Doom aspect this isn't that bad. However, from a musical standpoint this gets tiresome as many of the songs aren't flushed out to what they could've been.
The guitars are fairly heavy and they continue the bands trademarked style of melancholy and woe. The tapestry that they, along with more distant keyboards create is very bleak. There is a lot of crunch in them as well. While the lack of solos is felt, it doesn't detract from the over all vibe. As stated above, there is a lot of repetition in the riffs, but in most instances the riffs are played differently each time. They might first play it open chorded, or one fingered, on the following parts they would palm mute or chord. They also play with varying tempos, to a degree at least. Thankfully, they don't sound as boring as they did on the bands first 3-4 albums. The bass does nothing note worthy aside from following the guitars.
The drums are good, but not as subtle in their nuances as on previous efforts. This isn't to say that they are bland, but they do go stale on more than one occasion. The keyboards are very much an after thought and have a minuscule roll in each composition.
The vocals are pretty good, certainly one of Aaron's better vocal deliveries. He sings/speaks clean for a little more than half the album but he does blend his grim vocals well with his cleans. He has more of a blackish rasp as opposed to his normal guttural Death growls. All in all, not much to complain about from his department.
The lyrics are very deep and dramatic, how personal they are is another matter entirely. They more than add to the somewhat haunted atmosphere.
The band has said both good and bad things about this as it is more of a step backward than forward, but considering the (unwarranted) fan backlash from this albums predecessor '34.788% Complete' the band did what they felt was necessary to "clear their good names". In saying that, its not a true 180 however as there are some new ideas present.
This can either be seen as sheer brilliance from one of the forefathers of the Doomdeath movement, or one of the best sleeping pills you could ever hear. Either way this is certainly something for the true MDB fan as well as someone new to their majesty.