Release DetailsLABEL The Laser's Edge
RELEASED ON 8/22/2006
Signal To Noise
posted on 9/2006 By:
Adult contemporary easy listening metal; It's almost too pretty, this music. A deliciously voiced female vocalist with as much talent for restraint as for melody, a Porcupine Tree-esque band with just that hint of Katatonia to keep it from resting entirely in the realm of radio fodder. Oh, so melancholy, but always pretty. It's song after song of the kind you hear at the end of crappy modern TV melodramas about vampires or crime scenes or abducted children or what the fuck ever.
You can't really knock the songwriting. You can't knock the talent. But this is not metal and barely qualifies as rock. It's a tightly packaged and flawless, porcelain bright kind of dark Yanni. Keyboardy and gutless, I am not going to lie and say I didn't find some of this pleasant. But really, is pleasant the kind of thing you come to this site to find?
The positive is that the songwriting and performances range from slightly sugary popped out melancholia to depression soaked prog. When the band manages to get their ideas fleshed out, you are rewarded with some fairly fantastic dark music. It's not nearly often enough for me, though. Generally it's a swapping of slow melodic guitar and keyboard leads that stretch the songs farther than they should. As often as not it's superfluous and pretentious sounding. It's for real dark prog enthusiasts, not average metal heads.
But the songs themselves, if removed from the pointless wanking, are sometimes excellent. Again, it appears to be a question of focus and working out ideas, because when the music gains its velocity and comes to a head, it's as moving as any of its peers'. After the wandering the band does, these moments even take on an extra emotional satisfaction as you feel rewarded for putting up with all the horse cock.
The production is bright and rich, enhancing the general over perfection of the record. Instruments are delineated and clear, although there is no reason they shouldn't be. The few times the band hits on some power, the knobbies get the atmosphere almost perfect. It's a real payoff if you can make it to these points. But the rest of the CD is so squeaky clean I almost feel like I need to spill some coffee on my CD player. If nothing else though, a professional job.
The bottom line is that dark music fans will take to this record just fine. The average metal head will probably find it far too quiet and sweetly sad to be worthwhile. The band itself is much too impressive to slag, but I do hope that the next time I get to hear their music it comes with a little more focus and fire. I would be very excited to review that kind of album from this band.
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