The dust has finally settled. I hate coming to the blog and making excuses, but March was one of the most stressful months I’ve had in a long time. My school is on the quarter system, so I recently had to grade 320 final exams. I also traveled: WA to NY to CT back to NY to TN back to NY back to WA and this weekend I’m going to NM presenting research at conferences.
I caught some illness in my travels and have been sick all this week. Also, I’m supposed to be finding time to work on my thesis which is being defended soon. I’m also coping with the idea of not being in school for the first time in my memory. Needless to say, I’ve been listening to lots of music, but I just haven’t gotten around to writing about it.
Most of what I’ve been listening I’ve either liked or disliked. The one album that stuck out and has taken a bit of time to figure out what I think about it is Twilight’s new one. I think part of the early confusion had to do with the fact that I really like the beginning and the end, but the middle feels totally different.
The first two tracks are strange. They have a nice steady groove, but on top of that foundation is built something that feels like it is always ready to fall apart. The guitar tone is extremely noisy. They use odd textural noises from the guitar. The chordal and melodic structure is quite different. The vocals have lots of layers that start and stop at different times even though the words seem to be the same.
The effect is quite interesting. It feels messy and tight all at once. These first two tracks have a lot of thought put into them, but they also have a raw and violent edge at times. The second track in particular transitions into some sort of cross between black metal and punk. I can really get into the chaos when they let loose and go all out in these moments.
The middle part of the album slows down into more of a doom or sludge vibe. It isn’t that radical of a change, because they keep the same overall sound which I like. I just sort of lose interest through this part. The tracks feel too long. They just kind of drag on repeating and I lose the really intense feeling from the beginning.
It then comes back for the ending. The last track is the highlight of this album for me. They build up that solid foundation with a really interesting vamp at the beginning. I’m not really sure how to describe it. They use some electronic sounds, some weird picking techniques, but mostly it reminds me of a highly distorted industrial riff. Eventually that gives way to a simpler and even dirtier sound. It becomes hard to pick out any real notes from the mess.
The track feels like some pulsating, living thing with its incessantly pounding heart at the center of it all. The anger in the vocals returns from the earlier tracks giving the whole thing the intensity that such repetition needs to work.
Overall, I think the album is worth a listen. It is pretty short at six tracks. If you are sick of the same old sounding stuff, they are doing something different without being unfamiliar. I’ll give it 8/10. Sorry, I can’t find a sample.