Release DetailsLABEL Underground Communique
RELEASED ON 12/1/2005
Something To Do With Death
This whole Neurosis-core movement – judging by the amount of bands and albums I’ve encountered in the past few years – is only expanding. Angel Eyes are yet another group that evidently adores Neurosis and Isis, but interestingly enough, sound more like Ohio’s Mouth of the Architect than anyone else I’ve come across. Thus, in spite of the many high points that litter the 50-minute opus Something to Do with Death, I can’t help but label this Illinois-based quartet a Mouth of the Architect epigone. However, let the record also show that akin to several of their peers – if not all of them – what’s on tap is inviting in its quality and begs immersion on the part of the listener.
Something to Do with Death features only four songs, but as I stated earlier, clocks in at approximately 50 minutes total. Besides the five-minute, introductory number known as “Two Too Many” – a momentum builder filled with samples, static, and skilled musicianship – every other track is at least 13 minutes, if not more. “By the Time He Was My Age, Orson Welles Had Made Citizen Kane” begins in a subdued fashion, which is anticlimactic when one considers how much effort its predecessor spent hyping the audience, but easily tugs on the heartstrings via slow-moving, emotive music. Mouth of the Architect disciples will feel right at home because the same elements and sounds mirror the staples of Time & Withering as well as the forthcoming The Ties That Blind. Similarly, Angel Eyes conjure a large body of water: waves crashing, mindless drifting, and near-palpable loneliness all rolled into one. Again, their contemporaries paint this kind of scenery, too. In what can only be deemed refreshing, however, the vocals are more aggressive than usual for this particular subgenre – as if recorded while in agony.
More often than not, the tracks up for grabs aren’t very concerned with traveling in a straight line, but are more enthralled with meandering along until they come to a gradual stop. Unfortunately, a sizeable portion of “Political Capital AKA Eleven States Worth of Christians Fed to the Lions” is marred by the soundclip of a preacher rambling on about the last days of earth until the 4:30 minute mark when Angel Eyes return to familiar territory. At 17 minutes, the aforementioned is the lengthiest component of Something to Do with Death. The upbeat title track follows, and its tempo is a refreshing change of pace even though the middle does indeed serve as a despondent breather before diving back into rougher waters.
There aren’t any glaring weak spots to make note of, nor are there any conspicuous miscues. Nevertheless, like myriad bands in this same vein, Angel Eyes take a backseat to the forerunners despite their impressive output. Fans of this style should collect certain albums by Neurosis, Isis, Mouth of the Architect, and Rosetta first, at least before Something to Do with Death makes it on the to-buy list.