Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Confusing and beautiful - 95%

harvestman, May 8th, 2008

At first, the apparent lack of repetition on this album annoyed me. At first, I thought I would probably keep this album in my collection, if only as an interesting oddball. But I kept listening, and I'm glad I did. I began to like it better when I surrendered to the music, and stopped trying to wrap my head around it. You probably have to let go of some of your preconceptions to enjoy this, like the need for at least some repetition and some sort of song structure to hold onto (though there is in fact more repetition and song structure on this album than is apparent on first listen). This kind of music demands that you submit to it and let it take you places.

One moment, your ears are barraged with prog-metal of the most abrasive sort, complete with screaming that falls somewhere between black metal and hardcore, and the next you find yourself surrounded by bizarre stumbling jazz passages. This harsh/ soft dichotomy is maintained throughout the album, and can get a little predictable after a while, although it doesn't bother me too much, due to the quality of the material. The jazz sections are especially good, and show that the band really has a grasp of the material to the point where they can warp it to their own ends. A lot of metal bands that use jazz in their music end up sounding a little naïve--not so here. Some of the tones and phrasings they come up with are just plain beautiful, with all sorts of strange keys and tunings. Often the arrangements seem designed to frustrate your preconceptions-- phrases will progress to certain point, only to stop and just hang there, unfinished. Brilliant.