Review Summary: Powerful would be one way to put this.An Embrace of Angels
*Ryan Nichols - Guitar and BGVs
*Rik Stanek- Drums and Nintendo
*John Moret - Vocals and Keyboard
*Matthew Johnston - Bass
I first heard of An Embrace of Angels from a friend in school who brought them up several times over the school year in class. Needless to say, before the school year ended, I was still in a stage of "I don't give a *** what you listen to, The Mars Volta is the best ever." Needless to say many months later (actually like yesterday), I found this album and I decided, what the hell, I'll give it a shot. Shortest way I can put this, it fuc
king blew my mind. The music is intense as music can ever be, John on the vocals screaming out what sounds like his last dying breath. This could quite possibly become my favorite album ever. I'm going to do this the best way this album lets possible, a track by track.
Long Awaited Pleas For Audible Sound
- They decide to start off their album with a 17 to 18 minute track. And the first thing that popped into my head when I heard these climactic build ups was Circle Takes the Square
. Sure, CTTS
existed before this album, but everything on their (CTTS
) first album didn't have those long post-rock ambient sections that were found on As The Roots Undo
. And seeing as how this was released a year before As The Roots Undo
, I like to believe that this track could be a major influence on their sound today. But the track itself...
It's epic. It transitions from soft keyboards to a crushing wall of sound that will encompass every square bit of area that is to be found on your ear. Every couple or minutes or so a shrill scream will come in, giving an even bigger climax (this song has quite a few) and raising the emotion even higher. At around 6:10, the song will all the sudden shift into a different riff, with the guitar playing a lower crushing riff with a higher (can't describe the noise) notes. In come the first entry of the vocals, and are they everything you've ever wanted to here from an emo group. Powerful, heartfelt, more adjectives describing pure awesome. This will keep on going, until it starts to slow down, every time the riff repeats, it steadily gets slower until...
At 8:55, the whole band gets rid of distortion, the guitar playing a simple line, and the vocals laid in the back, as if the vocals are supposed to be laying the foundation for the landscape, and the rest of the band is painting the picture. After this, the song continues in into a crushing painting of distorted guitars and pianos and some excellent drum work. After this little section here, the vocals don't make another appearance until the next track. But that's not it. To the end of the song, it hits it's finally climax, with a simple string of notes played on the piano, with the guitar bearing down on your neck and the drums swirling around your head, you get a sense of as if you're not in a safe place, but you're surrounded by chaos and commotion, and you don't know if you're safe...
Strings Around Arms Tangled In Stars
- This song kicks off the second the last track ends, keeping you right where you were. AEOA
decided to leave the distortion pedal off for this track, but I believe it only makes it better. The vocals go between fierce screaming and shaky singing (quite similar to CTTS
and the Pax Cecilia
in my opinion). This track relies heavily on the vocals, and John refuses to disappointing, giving out an extremely passionate performance (which hell, he does throughout the whole album) and giving you a true taste of what you will hear for the rest of the album. I here a huge relation to the Pax Cecilia
in this song, and in a lot of the songs on this album.
This Coming Fall Line Colors Change
- Keeping in pace to not let one second go to waste, this track kicks off the second Strings
ends. A nice thing about this song, is that it mainly relies on the bass, and another thing is introduced in this album, dual vocal screaming, which will remain prevalent for the rest of the album. You'll get a nice view of the dual vocal attack at the end of this song.
I really feel like a broken record as I shoot throughout this whole track by track review, so I'm going to change it up a bit. If you wonder about the rest of the songs, don't worry, every song is in it's own way, beautiful, powerful, emotional and chaos. I'd write about them, but the broken record thing stops me, listen for yourself and hear the beauty.
It feels like AEOA
try to do something different each track. In Suit My Fancy Said Success
, they let the piano do the lead part of the whole track, allowing everyone to craft an epic masterpiece of a picture off of a new foundation, and in the best way too. These guys fail to disappoint, trying so many different things, but not even showing a sign of slipping up and screwing over a track altogether.
I believe that in their one and only LP, An Embrace of Angels
truly created something extremely special, something that I believe seems to be way too underlooked by many people. I hear people mention the genre of "Emo" all the time, listing off bands, but never mentioning this band. I too, have never listed this band in a debate, and I truly feel like a guilty asshole after hearing this cd. This wonderful ***ing marvel of a cd. If you are a fan of emo at all, I suggest you pick up this cd, its chaos in it's most beautiful form.
All of Them