Solid State Records
October 25th, 2005
Release length: 51:09
When you break down The Triptych, the album is fantastic. Not only does the music have it’s own unique hard hitting Metalcore sound that makes it stand out in the genre, but the band doesn’t stick to traditional stereotypes in the structuring, or composition of the music itself. However, the band did take a more Christian approach to the lyrics then ever before. Right off the bat, you have a choir singing two lines that clearly are related to “Not I”, the following song, but really seem to be very preachy in a sense and actually don’t have much to do with the following track. “The Flame that Guides us Home” really comes off as a brief hymn about the ascension into Heaven, while “Not I” is more of a track saying the band will not accept any other faith then Christianity and will not embrace any ideas, and had they, they no longer do. Infact, it sounds like it should have been placed prior to “Undying” instead, which, lyrically, pretty much has lyrics about accepting Christ and later ascending into Heaven. Admittedly, it works for the album, but it’s clearly out of place. While “Not I” could also be taken as a song about just being yourself and not conforming considering the lyrics aren’t really set up in a very pro-Christian way, the rest of the album is pretty blunt, like “Relentless Intolerence” which is really an anthem for those of the Christian faith that they will not abandon their beliefs and stand proud…and again ascend to Heaven.
Of course, while the album’s lyrical structure is rather blunt, the music is quite varying. “Not I” is one of the heavier tracks on here, as well as “Undying”, as well as the cover track “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck”, which is the only obvious non-Christian track on the album but is a really good cover by the band, especially due to the production quality of the album and it’s ability to create a rather dark feeling to the album that isn’t violated by any song on here. However, there are a few slower compositions on here as well that really stand out. “Deteriorate” which is all about love, redemption, and ascending into Heaven. This track brings in a more Hard Rock approach to the chorus with the track that is composed solely of clean singing, where as the song “The Tide Began to Rise”, which is a song about doing justly to other humans, as well as ascending into Heaven, starts off pretty hard and heavy, only to go into a mantra-like ending passage that states the same line over and over about the vocalist wanting a mulligan on his life if he can’t love more then he feels he’s limited to.
There’s nothing too wrong with the album as the lyrics. Musically, the album does a great job at being varied between mid-paced to slower paced material that sometimes comes off as a standard in your face Metalcore track, like “Fire to My Soul”, which seems to have a little more guitar distortion thrown onto it, as well as has guitars either tuned down or using deeper chords. These work to create an intimidating sound here, especially for the chorus which has clean singing and occassional gutterals and rougher shouting, but it clashes against the simple deeper guitars horribly. “One Thousand Apologies”, however, stands out being a track that is a heavier song at a slower pace, without it coming off as some kind of ballad-like song, however resorting to a melodic chorus that also brings tamborines. Again, this is another song that doesn’t necessarily end about ascension, but is instead more about a liar trying to repent, presumably to get into Heaven, so in a sense it’s the same thing. And then you have “The Tide Began to Rise”. This is the band’s most powerful song off the album, but at the same time it is the unholy of all Christian metal holiness as it violates everything musically established by the band through the entire album, which isn’t too bad, but the pianos sound horrible, as if they came from a low quality MP3 and are washed out terribly. This song is a straight forward ballad about being down and wanting to love more and ascending the soul to heaven for a mulligan if that’s as much love as he can show. Not to mention there’s effects and distortions on here that sound god awful and, while only there for a few seconds if that, jerk you around and ultiately make the song rather aggrivating to listen to.
Aside the rather stiff lyrical construction that, for the most part, ultimately leads to the same thing and isn’t all that diverse in the first place, the music on the album sounds great. Sure the introductory track works for the album, but there was clearly some confusion as to what song should follow it. Had the proper track been placed, and the final song “The Tide Began to Rise” ultimately just cut off the album, or performed better in the first place instead of being a stand out in a bad way song that voids the musical composition of the album with bad effects used here and there that creates an ultimately powerful yet drawn out experience, this album would have been fantastic. Instead, there’s still plenty of great tracks on here, and a few that aren’t necessarily the same lyrically, this band has obviously cut out a little niche for themselves with their music, and The Triptych is meerly the start of great things to come.
01. The Flame That Guides Us Home – 0:29
02. Not I – 4:14
03. Undying – 4:02
04. Deteriorate – 5:54
05. THe Soldier’s Song – 5:24
06. Fire to My Soul – 4:04
07. One Thousand Apologies – 4:56
08. The Science with Lies – 4:10
09. Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck (Prong cover) – 4:13
10. Ribcage – 3:47
11. The Tide Began to Rise – 5:37
|Overall Score: 7/10
Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.