Japanese band Envy seem to get better as they move farther away from their hardcore roots and into the realm of post rock. While they were still very good as a screamo band, the sound they have carved out on their latest records suits them better. Even though the aspects of post rock they draw on seem cliche, such as buildups and climaxes, their music is still incredibly fresh because of the screamo elements still present in their music. This latest EP Abyssal serves as a bridge between their last album Insomniac Doze and their much-anticipated new release.
With these four songs, Envy have further developed the heavy post-whatever influences heard on Insomniac Doze. "A Road Of Winds The Water Builds" seems to be the main focus of the EP, clocking in at ten minutes and running the gamut of Envy's bag of tricks. The song is all waves, building up and crashing constantly. The thing that's cool about Envy is that nowadays even when they allude to their past and play intense hardcore parts, they are very sludgy and slow-burning yet they don't lose any intensity along the way. The middle of the song is one of the best moments of 2007; the clean vocals, ascending guitar riffs, and crashing drums all combine to make perhaps the most moving section Envy has ever recorded. "All That's Left Has Gone To Sleep" is the song that is most similar to the stuff heard on the band's earlier releases, fast and chaotic for all of its four minute length. "Thousand Scars" is like a shorter version of "A Road Of Winds...", starting out with a heavy section and progressing into a beautiful clean buildup into the song's climax. The EP ends with "Fading Vision," a tranquil, retrospective piece that has some spoken word stuff that Envy have done before on previous albums; it's a nice breather from some of the more intense parts of the EP.
Abyssal is certainly a very strong EP, housing some of the coolest and most beautiful moments Envy have put to tape. I'm a huge fan of the sound that Envy have crafted for themselves these past few years. They have combined the best parts of multiple genres and in my opinion they are one of the finest bands out there right now not just in their respective scene but in all of music.