Review Summary: Raw, agressive, flawless. Without doubt a classic screamo album.
Document #5 is an absolutely phenomenal album, consisted of 10 short furious bursts of punk adrenaline, within the screamo genre it’s a definite classic. The band hail from Sterling, VA and comprise of an ever changing line up, usually this was eight members, they are also renown for a furious live show during their five year existence. Document #5, released in the wake of the new millennium was the bands first full length and to many fans, yours truly included, is their best release. Musically it sounds to me like a cross between Saetia and the Dillinger Escape Plan, but ultimately lands closer to screamo than the grind of Dillinger, there’s even a bit of power violence in there. At well under 25 minutes the album barely stops for breath, unlike Saetia there is little in the way of a melodic element, focuses almost solely on a ferocious punk tempo.
Ruiner of Life
begins with just over 30 seconds of what can only be described of noise before you are hit full on by the sheer brutality of this album. As is common for the genre the lyrics are very poetic, not that you can really pick them out easily. On the opener Chris Taylor screams, “I bow my head, just to pretend to know a thing or two about a prayer. In horrible deaths we lay, just to lay for peace, and just to say goodnight, and then we finally sleep.” Second track Comedy of Christ
has a more traditional punk/hardcore opening before slipping back into the chaos once more. Lyrically it seems to focus on what a joke modern religion has become, “I will not dedicate a day to a life-size nativity scene” My favorite song on here has got to be My Application to Heaven
. The lyrics are genius and the music a little more intricate than elsewhere. This song sums the band up perfectly. There is chaotic grind, a brief bass breakdown and the moment about 30 seconds in when the instrument pause except for the blistering scream of “*** you Jesus” is magnificent in its punk glory. Towards the end it’s even pretty melodic, at least by their own standards, by god there is almost clean vocals towards the end, it even has what sounds like a metalcore breakdown. The final track, “By The Fireplace in White” seems to pay homage to the bands emo forefathers like Indian Summer, it’s slower than the other songs and at eleven minutes a lot longer, but still a great listen if not really a great indication of the bands sound.
I honestly cannot say enough positive things about this album and everyone who claims to like fast, aggressive music really needs to give it a listen. Compared with Document #8 I’d say this just about comes out on top although that album is almost equally as impressive. Pg. 99 and Circle Takes The Square are my favorite screamo bands for different reasons, but in terms of raw aggression this album is unmatched by anything I’ve ever listened to in my life.