Release DetailsLABEL Metal Blade Records
RELEASED ON 7/11/2006
From A Second Story Window
posted on 7/2006 By:
This album was a surprise. I haven’t had the opportunity to hear From A Second Story Window’s debut EP, Not One Word Has Been Omitted, so this was an entirely new, fresh listening experience for me, as it will be for many others I’m sure. When it comes to grinding, jagged, technically complicated metalcore ala Ion Dissonance, The End, and Crowpath, solid obvious cohesion isn’t often featured on the menu. More than anything, when performing such technically discombobulated material, cohesion means a lot. You can be intricate, complex and technically flamboyant but if none of it relates, you’re just making noise.
Delenda is a very cool album, bottom line, and I personally think it’s amazing. However, this is also a terribly flawed release on a couple different levels. The music itself is exhilaratingly busy, energetic, expertly performed, and rather crazy at times. It’s also very hard to follow, and sometimes pointlessly, and anticlimactically assembled (“A Piece Of History Written In English”). There are individual sections of songs that stand out, but most of the more raging material is entirely interchangeable. There’s not a lot of solid songwriting going on here, but there are many individual parts that are simply devastating. There are many obtusely arranged, thunderous breakdowns with funky segues introducing them, nasty blastbeats aplenty, and more changes in tempo than I could keep up with. Not to mention, it's heavy as hell. Moments of more thoughtful, jazzy introspection also occur as power and fury take a backseat (“For Those Lost”), and there’s even a full-on power piano ballad of sorts with the track “Ghosts Over Japan” which unfortunately depletes much of the momentum which had been established up to that point. Nice idea, but it doesn’t work in comparison to the overall scheme of things.
The musicians themselves are superlative, and while newcomer Will Jackson is an intimidating, diverse vocal force on Delenda, it’s drummer Nick Huffman who totally steals the show here. His double-bass technique is unbelievable, on par with Raymond Herrera, Jason Bittner, and perhaps even Gene Hoglan, as he throws down copious rhythmically precise nuances which often help solidify otherwise haphazardly arranged passages. Stunning, yet even though Nick supplies so many ties to bind the arrangements together, there’s only so much he can do to give the songs any sort of adhesive consistency.
Delenda can hold your attention, that’s for sure, but while it is compelling, much of the material here is hard to focus on after a while when it comes to specifics. It’s like putting a jigsaw puzzle together after working on it hardcore for hours, and once it’s done, the big picture still isn’t there, even if the pieces fit. It simply doesn’t flow well overall, and there’s so much going on that nothing stands out in the end other than the softer moments of the disc. A massive collection of Herculean riffs, furious downpicked mania, and arrhythmic annihilation, the very things I bitch about here may be just what you’re looking for. Keep in mind, I’m being critical because I have to be. I have no problem with cranking this stuff out at ear-splitting volume at any time, but the truth is Delenda is a beautiful, abrasively melodic, and often directionless mess, but if that’s what gets you through the night, so be it. Works fine for me, and I’d say From A Second Story Window is a band to keep an ear out for, regardless of your taste in more frantic types of metallic oddities.
Register to post comments.