There are certain things that draw me to metal records from bands Iâ€™ve never really heard of before.Â The first is the name of the band — and we all know there are some very creative and also extremely dumb monikers in every genre, but especially with metal.Â Then thereâ€™s the album cover. If the artwork is totally badass, Iâ€™ll give it a second look. But rarely do I ever get drawn to an album by the track titles, but thatâ€™s what happened with East of the Wallâ€™s Ressentiment.
The last three tracks in particular drew me inÂ to take a listen. â€œHandshake in your Mouth,â€ â€œBeasteaterâ€ and the most intriguing one, â€œDonâ€™t Stop Bereavingâ€ (unfortunately, not a spazzed-out Journey cover).Â And Iâ€™m definitely glad I stopped to give it a listen, as itâ€™s one of the more unique records released this year.
From the opening track you can tell Ressentiment isnâ€™t your standard fare.Â Layers upon layers of prog-ish post-metal lead to full-blown stories being told in each song. When your album begins with lyrics like â€œThis crowd/a fleshy lake/The throngs as smallish waves/folds like skin upon the sow/A faint din as spit and speech caw/the rank broth that stews while boiled aliveâ€ (from â€œThe Ladderâ€), you know this isnâ€™t some standard party metal.
The vocals and the music meld perfectly together here, with melancholy moments immediately flipping to angry walls of guitars and then to soothing melodies while clean singing co-mingles with angry growls â€“ but not necessarily in the parts youâ€™d think. Thereâ€™s no doubt the album is an extremely challenging listen and Iâ€™ll admit myself that I had to listen to it three times before being able to put my thoughts into the words you see here because I think only at that point had I discovered enough of the intricacies and complexities of whatâ€™s put forth on this disc. Â If you listen and it doesnâ€™t immediately hit you, Iâ€™d flip to the aforementioned â€œHandshake in your Mouthâ€ and listen to lyrics like â€œThe distant mock of warmth/An aftertaste of the bodiesâ€™ greeting collision/Youâ€™ll never feel that again.â€ Itâ€™s a trip, man — a head trip of immense proportions, and well worth your time.
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