“RIGGED” starts with single semi-tones that the band allows to ring for a few moments before allowing the next one to sound. As this motive prolongs, the band adds in swells of electronic tones to add dimension and color to the track. As that builds, faint vocals can be heard in the background with a mixture of different ornamental musical figures to fill the open space that the band has created. After this motion has settled with the audience, the vocalist enters for the first time with vocals that sit in the lower part of his range. This allows him to sing a solemn melodic mind that captures the listener’s attention. The instrumentation remains the same throughout the first verse; however, the percussion adds in with a gentle pulse to help the song lean forward as the audience focuses on the lyrics. As the band pushes towards the first run of the chorus, the percussion section begins to add intensity within their hits, which works well for the band because at this time the vocalist begins to shift between his clean and aggressive vocal-types. Once the band enters their middle portion of the track, they fall into a heavy half-time driven groove that focuses on different percussion timbres with strings that subdivide the pulse that was set near the beginning of the work. This was a smart first track for the album, for it grabs the audience’s attention, and makes the listeners want to hear more from the artist, for the music present on this selection is different than other artists in the scene.
“NOT JUST BREATHING” starts with a chordal mixture of semi-tones that slowly evolves as the vocalist enters in with his gentle melodic line that simply glistens over the stated material. This minimal instrumentation from the beginning allows the vocals to shine in this softer light while giving the listeners the opportunity to truly internalize the sentimental lyrics. After this beginning motive waivers for moment, the entire instrumental ensemble enters in unison, rhythmically, at first, before expanding to produce a progressive groove that becomes the foundation for the work; however, the band provides moments where they drop back to the original minimalist approach, which provides a symmetrical feel to the selection. As the and progresses towards the middle of the track through their chorus, they fall into another half-time feel for only a small amount of time, which provides musical variety for the audience within one track. As the band progresses towards the end of the piece, they build up their sound before dropping out almost all of the instrumentation to allow the vocals to reign in isolation with chordal motion supporting them. Following that moment, the band provides a grand pause before crashing into the melodic content of the chorus to drive to the end of the work.
“ONE LAST TIME” starts with a quicker instrumental interlude than the previous works. This feature is driven by a steady pulse provided by the percussion section with a step-wise motive in the string section that gives the allusion of something cascading downward in a sequential motion. Before the first vocals of the track enter, the instrumentation drops to almost nothing before they sound. The vocalist, throughout the first verse, shifts between both his clean style as well as vocals with an aggressive timbre to them. This works well for the band because the instrumental material that is presented compliments both styles; thus, the band is pulling from both of their musical palates at once. As the band moves towards the chorus of the work, it is heard, that the band will provide symmetric, heavy hits in the percussion section to juxtapose the vocal melodic line from time to time to add dimension and textural variety to the selection. When the band arrives at the chorus, they continue to work through the idea of both vocal-types, which makes for a clashing vocal experience. This technique produces an overly ornate sound that meshes well with the band’s heightened instrumental material. As the band transitions to the end of the track, they continue to mess with instrumentation to provide small moments of silence to break up the musical sound.
“I ALWAYS WANTED TO LEAVE” starts with a single strum made by a member in the string section. This is followed by a simple evolution of electronic semi-tones before the vocals enter in abruptly. When the vocals enter, they resonate with a crystal-clear tone that sits in the lower to middle range of the vocalist, which produces a sweet timbre for the listeners. Once the vocals settle, the percussion section adds to the mix with minimal material; however, the material that they provide adds rhythmic stability through heavy hits on the strong beats of each musical phrase; thus, creating a small groove to forward the piece. The beginning portion of this selection seems to pull genre influence from the alternative/pop musical worlds. This can be said because the music is simple, but the material that is presented is quite memorable and provides a gentler tone of voice. As the band moves farther into the first verse, it is heard that the vocalist begins to sing in his falsetto, which gives the audience musical variety as he fluctuates between various levels of his vocal range. It is heard as the band moves throughout the majority of the piece that this work rides on the slower spectrum for the artist. This is a nice inclusion for the album, for it gives the audience a break from the heightened tracks, and it shows the audience what else the band is musically capable of.
“FEEL NOTHING” starts with the evolution of semi-tones in a layered motion, which creates a synthesizer-like effect. The vocals creep in smoothly as they provide a nice vocal contour throughout the first verse. The band is able to enhance this contour by providing different levels of denseness in the texture category to help some portions stick out more than others. The instrumental material during this moment is minimal. This allows the vocals to shine as the instrumental section is able to provide simple stability points for the vocal line. As the band shifts to the chorus of the work, one hears a heavy hit in the percussion section before the entire ensemble crashes in to create an elaborate chorus that juxtaposes the feel that the band has established on this track thus far. When the entire instrumental section enters, the groove for the work is set and embellished on as the vocalist toys with more aggressive vocal techniques. When the band moves towards the second verse, their instrumentation drops briefly; however, the instrumental section adds back in strategically to provide another heightened chorus. After the chorus, the band spins into a faint instrumental interlude that takes the groove that was set in the first chorus and mends it throughout both the strings and the percussion section. This helps to build the intensity of the work before the instrumental section drops out once more to provide yet another high contrast moment though more beautiful vocals. This is a foreseen favorite from the album, for the band provides high levels of contrast to the extreme, and the song itself is overly memorable.
“HAPPY” starts with the rise and fall of electronic tones that resonate with a brief pause in between each episode. As the beginning of the song evolves, the band includes more motives similar to these at a quicker rate; thus, they begin to overlap at different times. After a few seconds, the percussion section adds in to give a steady pulse to this transition work through three large hits within each musical phrase. Throughout the track, one may hear faint vocals in the distant background as well as a pre-recorded voice that restates words that would fall in the same category as a horror film. However, these words are hard to make out, for the pre-recorded voice seems to utilize a mumbling technique to add to the displaced nature of the work. This work acts as transition material for the album, which works well, for it helps enhance the overall mood that the band is trying to set for the album.
“THE ONE YOU LOVED” starts with a percussion motive that appears to be resonating from a distance at first, but from there, the band increases the intensity and dynamic of that line to bring it to the forefront. Instead of slamming into an over-the-top verse like one would assume, the band falls into a groove that is led by the bassist and the percussion section that is led by the clean vocal, melodic line. Once the entire ensemble is present, the band plays with balance to allow the vocals to shine while giving the instrumental section to opportunity to shine in their own musical right. Before the band reaches their memorable chorus, the artist includes a slight grand pause before dropping into it full force. The timbre that drives this chorus, vocally speaking, is something completely different than everything that the band has presented on this album thus far, for the vocal type lies in between the clean and aggressive state of technique. As the band moves through the second verse, it is heard that their motivic idea sounds smooth and just glides perfectly until the next entrance of the chorus. Towards the middle of the selection, the instrumentation drops to allow a pre-recorded voice to sound before the characteristic vocals enter with the percussion section beating through the pulse of the track. The percussion section subdivides this beat for the audience before the band slams into the chorus, which the band rides until the very end of the piece.
“PAID IN FULL” starts with a group of four hits in the percussion section before the entire instrumental ensemble joins in to produce a heightened instrumental interlude that is joined by background vocals. The vocalist of the band enters after a slight drop in instrumentation. In this instance, it sounds as if the vocalist is whispering the lyrics before he abruptly switches to the more aggressive vocal technique. The vocalist remains static with this vocal-type as the band moves towards and through the chorus of the work. As the song progresses, the band provides a natural progression of intensity through the instrumental material to allow the groove to continuously keep the track pushing forward. As the band looks toward the end of the work, the band switches their focus to heavier attacks on the melodic line, across all fronts. This allows for the band to effortlessly transition into their first major breakdown of the album. The breakdown is run through a strict half-time feel that is mainly felt through single, homorhythmic hits across the entire instrumental ensemble. The vocalist screams one line in isolation before moving back to the chorus of the work to close the selection.
“THE SOUND” starts with the hit of a single tone that leads the vocals into the piece, which enter in immediately following that attack. The vocals that are heard fall in the lower range of the vocalist to make for another smooth and solemn melodic line. This is backed up with a gentle, step-wise motive in the instrumental section. This minimal instrumental approach allows the audience to focus on the graceful nature of the band’s characteristic clean vocals. After the first introductory phrase, the percussion section joins the mix to establish a gentle backbeat to the piece with a muffled timbre. After the band introduces this first element of the groove, as the song progresses, they add in small layers to expand the texture. As the band moves towards the middle of the track, one hears new timbres on the album such as saxophone or brass-type color tones. This meshes well, for the band has painted this extravagant musical picture, and this instrumental addition makes the overall aura have more of a regal feel. The band rides this soft groove with the added tone colors until the end of the work. This was an interesting inclusion for the artist, for it is completely different than anything else on the album, so it feels as if the band is crossing new territory; thus, this shows their listeners that they are capable of more than just a “heavy” sound.
“DISPOSABLE FIX” starts with a simple string melody that focuses on a four-note motive that is supported by chordal movement in the lower harmonic voices. The vocals enter in soon after this melodic idea sits with the audience. When the vocals enter, they stay true to most of the vocals on the album, for they resonate in the lower to middle range of the vocalist. Once the band lands in the bulk of the first verse, the instrumental section provides strong, steady pulsations on the “stronger” beats of the musical phrase. This technique allows the selection to continue at an equal rate while simmering at a slower tempo. Before the band drops into the chorus, they toy with adding and subtracting of instrumentation to allow the vocals to shine in isolation during certain parts of each phrase. Once the band reaches the chorus, it is heard that the overall vibe of the work remains the same; however, the vocalist begins to shift to his other vocal techniques, which provides nice contrast for the listeners. In the middle of the track, the band includes a moment where several automated voices sing two lines of melodic content before the instrumental ensemble, paired with electronics, crashes into one, larger than life, downbeat that commences the biggest instrumental feature of the album. This instrumental interlude is driven by a half-time groove that produces an overly cool sound for the audience to attach to. This is a strong closing work for the album because it embodies the band’s characteristic sound, and it messes with instrumentation and music methodology, which will likely make it a foreseen favorite of the album.
Final Thoughts: Overall, I would give this album a 4.5 out of 5 stars. I am giving this album such a score for a few reasons. The first major reason is that the album is, simply, very enjoyable to listen to. If you are a fan of this scene of music, you’ll definitely appreciate the craft of this album, for the band takes the general nuances that all bands in the scene use, and they twist them to make them their own. The other reason I landed on this score is because this album, as a whole, sounds like it’s progressing the music scene forward, for it isn’t staying in one musical genre or one method for making this type of music. By doing this, the band is able to produce music that sounds cool and progressive. Furthermore, if you are looking for a metal/post-hardcore album to rock your world, this is it! Nicely done!
*”DISPOSE” was released on February 16, 2018 through Fearless Records.