Release DetailsLABEL Abacus Recordings
RELEASED ON 10/7/2003
Crave and Collapse
posted on 10/2003 By:
I’m not sure what’s going on here, judging by my scores, you’d think I’d be digging this album more; it's poised, well written, well performed, and by all standards a perfectly competent album, but for whatever reason it's not hitting me right. Narcissus, to their credit, is one of the new wave of bands that are striving to at least bring something different to the hardcore/metalcore table with their 3rd album. With a large hint of emo, by virtue of lots of clean crooning, Narcissus is most definitely a far more progressive, deep metalcore act. By writing very varied songs, injecting a slightly “Rush” sounding vibe to their songs, Narcissus are not your average metalcore act, and that may be why they're are not fully jiving with my normally black/white tastes, as their slightly off the wall is very “grey”. Certainly not as full on emo or whiny as Thursday or Coheed and Cambria, but also not as full on crushingly melodic as Unearth or Poison the Well, Narcissus seem to be stuck in that middle area that doesn’t quite fully embrace either style. As a result, its progressive complexity and interesting style is often forgettable, despite its polished delivery. I simply didn’t feel the addictive pull to return to the album other than for review purposes. Part of the issue may be that my limited attention span is challenged by the abundance of five-minute plus songs that fill the album. The other part is that none of the songs really leap out at me, all are of a high quality and the Mars Studio production (Mushroomhead, Keelhaul), is spot on, but nothing struck me as one of those special, album defining moments. Frankly, when the album's thirteenth cut, the acoustic outro “Grey” fades out, I’m actually pretty bored. The songs all contain lots of progressive creative breaks in the form of delicate guitar work that almost sounds like Dream Theater playing metalcore. Those elements are fine, but I think it’s when Narcissus tries to break into harsher more extreme riffs where they seem to fall a little flat. More immediate tunes like “Pride/Politics”, “Rush” and “Blessed Coma”, just don’t measure up to the genre’s heavyweights when they crank it up. However, when Narcissus focus on a far more creative artistic form of output (which they do a lot more of), they are peacefully entertaining, if not a little too relaxing. “The Sounds of Silver”, “The Recovery” and standout cut “Anticardia”, remind me a little of Poison the Well’s more introspective output on “You Come Before You”, but without the dominating vocals. John Pope has a fine clean voice that suits the album’s more tender moments, but his requisite scream is not even close to Jeffery Moriera’s crushing bellow. “Crave and Collapse” is just one of those albums that does everything just fine, but due to its often overly progressive overtones, it just lost me. If you are bored with hardcore’s often-repetitive attitudes and nature, you might want to check this out. However, if you're like me, and actually like fierce, but predictable breakdowns and such, this may disappoint. Still, a promising band willing to take chances, and for that I must give them credit.
Register to post comments.