East Of The Wall
posted on 8/2010 By:
East of the Wall is an extraordinarily talented powerhouse that packs the shrewdness of metalcore and the radiant elements of post-rock deep into their music. Ressentiment contains excellent production and a wide variety of musical techniques, which definitely make it obligatory for the listener to spin the album numerous times before full comprehension can take place. The guitar effects are quite prominent (the band uses 3 guitarists) and will begin to echo nicely into your eardrums immediately, without becoming overbearing or sounding too busy. Ressentiment contains many brilliant bass and percussion passages as well. This is the unfortunate catch: there are no real standout songs on the entire album.
After listening to this album many times, one will begin to feel as if they're on a continuously meandering path. This path, although somewhat wide and not difficult to access, will become downright pesky once the listener realizes they're not really being led to anyplace interesting. In other words, Ressentiment's song structure is completely oversaturated with variations that lead nowhere. I do not wish to say there aren't fabulous details along this journey, because the atmosphere contained in the album is actually quite remarkable; but after a while, everything just blends in and gives the album a distinct--yet somewhat boring--vibe, like a Dr. Seuss book with missing pages and no ending.
Over the years, atmosphere has played an increasingly larger role in the expanding world of metalcore/post-hardcore. Good albums of the sort, much like black metal, are becoming more and more recognized for their subtle intricacies and emotional landscapes. As a result, every musician has needed to significantly bump up their game in order to achieve the recognition necessary to sustain their musical projects. Like every other competition, the addition of new techniques make the game much more difficult to play. While creativity and innovation are key elements for success, nothing is more important than good, old-fashioned fundamentals. Obviously, music is art and shouldn't be seen as intense competition, but a band still needs to sell records, right? Well, in order to do so, bands must place primary emphasis on the foundations of their songs as opposed to first being concerned about external aesthetics. Doing anything to the contrary would be deceptive, superficial and even pretentious.
If you're a die hard fan of atmospheric post-rock, or even a musician looking for fresh ideas, East of the Wall is a band you should start looking up to. For the others who still prefer an emotionally dense soundtrack to their day but want good songs to come along with it, I suggest looking for a band whose foundation is a bit more solidified.
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