There are certain things that draw me to metal records from bands I’ve never really heard of before. 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. Then there’s the album cover. If the artwork is totally badass, I’ll give it a second look. But rarely do I ever get drawn to an album by the track titles, but that’s what happened with East of the Wall’s Ressentiment.
The last three tracks in particular drew me in to take a listen. ”Handshake in your Mouth,” ”Beasteater” and the most intriguing one, ”Don’t Stop Bereaving” (unfortunately, not a spazzed-out Journey cover). And I’m definitely glad I stopped to give it a listen, as it’s one of the more unique records released this year.
From the opening track you can tell Ressentiment isn’t your standard fare. 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 ”This 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 alive” (from ”The Ladder”), you know this isn’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 — but not necessarily in the parts you’d think. There’s no doubt the album is an extremely challenging listen and I’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 what’s put forth on this disc. If you listen and it doesn’t immediately hit you, I’d flip to the aforementioned ”Handshake in your Mouth” and listen to lyrics like ”The distant mock of warmth/An aftertaste of the bodies’ greeting collision/You’ll never feel that again.” It’s a trip, man — a head trip of immense proportions, and well worth your time.
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