October 7th, 2009
Release length: 59:34
Due to the approach the band brings with their music, it basically gives them free reign to do whatever. On this release, it seems that they decided to focus moreso on some jazz elements throughout the songs, most notably during “Disease, Injury, Madness”, as well as material that sounds as if it should be in some kind of animated Tim Burton film like during the start of “Fossil Genera”. While the jazz aspect does sound good, it seems to clash against the more Progressive Metalcore sound presented throughout, which is nice and heavy, which winds up only being segments on here with “Obfuscation” and “Swim To The Moon” being the most predominant tracks containing anything headbang worthy. But, perhaps the most justifiable reason for all of this would be that The Great Misdirect plays out as a conceptual album.
That fact probably won’t hit you until “Fossil Genera”, or, at the latest, “Desert of Song”, since the first two tracks don’t really seem to have any real connection to the rest of the album by how the lyrics are presented. So, now that you have that aspect in your head, it’s clear why there are various change ups towards the music, but it still seems they would be better if they were just seperated into different tracks instead of songs upwards of nearly ten to eighteen minuteus long, or just not so different as to clash so hard. “Desert Of Song” would be the perfect example of this, being under five minutes and sticking to one constant structure: An acoustically performed track to further the progress of the story that bleeds well into the xylophone and keyboard introduction to “Swim To The Moon” which is an excellent track, but features a few vocal styles including clean singing, very nice screaming vocals, distorted spoken word, but most noticable are some insanely annoying vocals that can only be described as a whiny Emo vocalist trying to shout at someone over something insanely mundane but being sometime overly serious for him and makes the beginning part of the track really hard to get through. The rest, however, is absolutely brilliant and very impressive.
If you know the track record of the band, then The Great Misdirect may come as a bit of a shock given the progress the band has made since their start and how it seems as if they kind of backtracked a bit with this album when compared to the structurally sound previous album, Colors. If you’re new, then you’ll absolutely love it. If you’re looking for anything really hard and heavy, you’ll be at a great loss as there isn’t much. It’s clear the band still has the ability to pull an insanely catchy and skull-punching track since between roughly the eight to ten minute marks on “Swim To The Moon” leave you wishing they’d drop all the experimental stuff and bring everything they learned to writing more music like that. It’s moments like that through the album that leave a horrible bitter-sweet taste in your mouth. But, truth be told, The Great Misdirect is full of moments of musical brilliance that really opens doors in the metal world, and once again brings something new to the table that isn’t seen to often. This albumw ould have been perfect had the band really focused more on the structure of the songs, and not trying to mash what could be various seperate tracks into longer ones.
01. Mirrors – 3:38
02. Obfuscation – 9:15
03. Disease, Injury, Madness – 11:03
04. Fossil Genera – 12:11
05. Desert Of Song – 4:33
06. Swim To The Moon – 17:54
|Overall Score: 7.5/10
Physical review copy of this release provided by Victory Records.