The 25th Hour
posted on 1/2011 By:
The 25th Hour is an experimental outfit hailing from San Diego, California...with no vocalist. Although it's becoming more and more common for musicians to release all-instrumental albums, it's still quite a bold statement when they decide to do so, especially if there is more than one person behind any given album's songwriting. It takes powerful music for any listener to be fully attentive to an instrumental album all the way through. Looking at some of the more successful instrumental acts over the past couple of years, and bands like Animals as Leaders and Cloudkicker come immediately to mind: the music of said acts is thought-provoking enough to where adding a vocalist might actually take something away from what the notes are trying to say. Unfortunately, that is not the case with this debut.
Monsters isn't quite uneventful, but it lacks the substance necessary to allow the listener to find any meaning or depth in its songs. That's not to say simply laying down some vocal tracks would have helped the cause, because the songs were obviously designed to never include them. The album just wanders around aimlessly for approximately thirty minutes. Although the musicianship is neither loose nor obnoxiously showy, none of the album's songs seem to have any real direction. Listening to Monsters is kind of like having some crazed little kid randomly approach you on the sidewalk, perform some backflips and then run around the corner never to be seen again. It's definitely entertaining, but one may have a difficulty finding what the hell the point of the whole charade was.
One could certainly say that Kyle Butts and Calvan Christ missed the boat by about ten years with this one. Although their guitar and bass skills certainly made the purchase of their eight and six-stringed instruments necessary, the songwriting is just not there. There are certainly moments where soft, clean guitar passages grasp the listener's complete attention, as well as moments where some heavy chugging portions induce some head-bobbing, but all-in-all it's not quite enough...not when there are albums like Beacons and Animals As Leaders waiting to be heard over and over and over again. One of Metal Review's writers went so far as to claim that Beacons was the story to life itself. Unfortunately, The 25th Hour has presented us with an album that, although skillfully performed, isn't really the soundtrack to anything.
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