|Post-Metalcore, Progressive Hardcore
Translation Loss Records
July 20th, 2010
Release length: 1:02:39
Rest assured, Ressentiment is an entertaining album. The main concept is that the music is really a blend between Hardcore and Metalcore, mostly the latter, and doesn’t necessarily use breakdowns. Had the band not utilized some of the Progressive techniques, one could say that the performances would tread too close into a Metalcore and Emo style of performance, especially in the vocals. East of the Wall incorporates both a deep shouting style that sounds great with the music, as well as a somewhat higher pitched singing style, which is really where soem of the Emo references would come from, especially during “Fool’s Errand” due to the band incorporating a more Light Rock sound throughout the song. While this may seem like an odd combination, it winds up working well for the song as the lighter aspect of the music is almost a bit trance inducing due to the odd atmospheric keyboard sounds in the back, and the heavier elements are always brought in and dismissed well enough that it all transitions between each other very well, which is where the Experimental aspect of the sound comes from since many of the songs feature this, as well as odd-sounding Mathcore-related technical guitars which do appear in this track at the very end.
“The Ladder” starts the release off nicely, and really shows the tempo changes and technical guitar chords better, ultimately getting you prepared for what is about to come. While this song seems to stick to a traditionalstand point of under five minutes, unlike tracks like “Salieri” which is about eight minutes, and “A Long Defeat” which clock sin at nine minutes exact, which causes the song to progress better, and much smoother in the long run. The only downfall with this song is that, due to the slower aspects of the song being much longer here then many of the tracks on Ressentiment, the song can feel a bit drawn out after a while, though it doesn’t quite seem to end as it pretty much just laps into “Salieri” without actually bleeding into the track.
Of course, an album such as this which “The Ladder” lays out, aside the trickery the introductory Primus riffs play on the listener, surely cannot go without the random instrumental or two. “Wisp of Tow” shows off yet another Light Rock influence that seems to have a somewhat Jazz feel, which was outlined a bit in the earlier song “Fool’s Errand”. Aside that, there’s another three instrumentals here, and all but “It’s Always Worth While Speaking to a Clever Man” are worthwhile, as well as heavier then “Wisp of Tow”. Of course, these instrumentals sound great, but really servce no purpose for being there. “Wisp of Tow” is, also, really where the album seems to change pace. While the earlier tracks had a harder and heavier feel, the music after really seems to focus more on lighter atmospheric material with little of the hard and heavy involved outside of the song “Fleshmaker”, which is just one of those songs that come at you with an intimidating approach, as well as slower moments that, also like “Fool’s Errand”, are blended so nicely. However, “A Long Defeat” feels like it’s title suggests. This track is a much lighter song that has a very brief heavy moment to it, but it doesn’t really go anywhere and just feels like much of the song really just sounds the same, leading to a good deal of boredom about half way through, and maybe three fourths of the way through for fans who really appreciate this style of music.
Of course this album does wind up having it’s downfalls. Not only are some of the songs on here a bit long to the point where they feel drawn out in certain sections, but the direction of many of the songs wind up using the hard and fast/light and slow/repeat composition to the point where it practically becomes the blueprint for the album after a while. The problem here is that if it doesn’t follow that formula, then the band typically sticks to moving into the slower paced song structures period with the only difference being how powerful certain aspects of the song become, such as “Ocean of Water” and the more powerful ending that hits, which also includes some screaming at the end. This song’s other fault happens to be that it really seems to take a lot from Tool, but without really being heavy until the very end when it starts to pick up for a powerful ending sound and hard hitting climax that incorporates some shouting. Another song worth noting here would be “It’s Always Worth While Speaking to a Clever Man” is yet another instrumental that clocks in at forty seven seconds and has a more Spanish music through a vinyl record sound to it that really just feels tacked on and serves absolutely no purpose to the album, and falls into the traditional technical Hardcore band style of song titles, including “It’s Always Worth While Speaking to a Clever Man”, and what could very well be classified as a spoof on the Journey classic “Don’t Stop Believing” with the song “Don’t Stop Bereaving”.
Ressentiment by East of the Wall is a well composed album, but it seems to focus moreso on lighter material that isn’t all too impressive or unique outside of random harder and/or heavier moments, or even just one moment, through the song. Many of the tracks after Ocean of Water”, except for “Fleshmaker”, ultimately sound like fantastic ideas, but also like the band couldn’t quite figure out what direction to take some of the ideas and in the end wound up drawing out certain sections, causing the album to lose some of it’s appeal. If East of the Wall matures and finds different ways to play with the music, or even simply starts composing songs under five minutes, then they could very well be the next Between the Buried and Me or even Tool, just minus the repetative musical nature and lack of anything truly ingenious on many of the tracks as executed by the latter. Ressentiment shows great promise for the band, but in the end, East of the Wall is a good act that just needs to grow and explore ways to keep the listener attentive through each song.
01. The Ladder – 4:42
02. Salieri – 7:52
03. Fool’s Errand – 6:54
04. Wisp of Tow (Instrumental) – 3:20
05. Ocean of Water – 5:45
06. It’s Always Worth Whie Speaking to a Clever Man (Instrumental) – 0:47
07. Fleshmaker – 5:29
08. Maybe I’m Malaised – 2:11
09. A Long Defeat – 9:00
10. Gordian Corridor (Instrumental) – 2:55
11. Handshake in Your Mouth – 4:16
12. Don’t stop Bereaving (Instrumental) – 2:00
13. Beasteater – 7:27
|Initial Pressing Score: 6/10