Review Summary: There is definitely some great stuff on this record, but it ultimately suffers from the fact that the band has done better than anything on this disc
I can still recall the days from five summer ago, where I'd be sitting in some random wheat field on a record breaking scorching date, and it almost feels like I can actually hear myself yelling out the ambiguous to one interesting band to me at that time, 10 Years. Then, 10 Years did for me what what I can now can only rely on Tool for, excellent progressiveness. As ignorant I was, they truly mt first branch into a more progressive style of music. That was a prominent summer for me, because I grew mentally, physically, and musically. I'll summarize what I'm sure everyone and their unborn baby has said, but I too grew up on Linkin Park, Creed, Nickelback, etc. you name it, I glorified it.
Thankfully, I slowly saw myself grow up, and away from the simplicity of it all, and my ears yearned for something more mature but still retained the gripe and grittiness of said above bands. Enter: 10 Years. i heard about them on my endless quest to be quenched of my thirst for perfect music, and had been suggested them after every article I read about them said for fans of Chevelle, well I'm of course instantly hooked. I remember popping in the first song from, my then 'Holy Grail' music players, Rhapsody The Recipe
and I couldn't listen for longer than 45 seconds. I hated it. Too much progression, no constant rhythm, and singer Jesse Hasek wouldn't scream so they weren't heavy
enough for me. Eventually all fell into place, and 10 Years has easily become one of my favorite bands releasing 2 stellar cd's to date since Killing All That Holds You
This album as a whole, can best be described as something that has all the right pieces, but for some strange reason can't get them to work. Think of it as the Titanic, I mean it had everything going- OK maybe too epic. More like the comedy "Year One" you feel like there may have been some jokes here and there to be found, but through all the disconnect and cliches you can't quite put your finger on it. Same theory applied here, the band has a smart idea, that may have been to soon for their time, that they just aren't able to convey as artfully... yet.
The first two tracks can be heard better for the most part on their predecessor, The Autumn Effect
. Second track, Through the Iris
which tries hard to imitate Tool in being heavy while soothing, leaves us with the feeling that we will be hearing the band at their most vulnerable stage throughout the rest of the listen. For the most part the album is raw and backed with no confidence, you'd almost mistake this for a demo record. Songs like R.E.S.T.
and All White
suffer from the 'baby syndrome, in that the band hasn't fully developed yet and so make the mistake of drawing from the same ploys and structures all too often. We get tired quickly of the same guitar tune for every verse, with little variation riff wise. We're given the same build up, with oozing lyrics and melodies only to simply plateau come chorus time, letting the listener down, hard.
This is why songs like, Blank Shell
offer all the more relief from the troubled waters above. We're given a break from the constant chugging that seemed to overtake the 20 minutes preceding it; and finally allowing plenty of room for the drums to breathe, and a chorus with some rhythm and bite to it, Hasek belting out, "This isn't what you really are, Blindfolded through the hurt, So sorry." The lyrics are another strong point for this band most noted in At A Loss
"Eyes swollen, A shape I'd like to kill, Here you are in red, Stunned as you may feel", astonishingly also probably the heaviest song of the bands career. We even get some screams in the chorus too (Nu-Metal fans unite!), a tool that may as well be a foreign language to the band now.
There isn't much diversity here as found in later releases, you're not going to find any surprises like the twangy, Focus
and there are also none of the signature outros that the band has a happenstance for. Silhouette of A Life
does give a break from the head trauma guitars for a beautiful acoustic session, luckily not in vein of the superior Seasons To Cycles
, Hasek once again looks like he's looking for all the right pieces but had yet to craft them correctly.
Last Word: This is the band at their weakest and it shows, but to assimilate this directly with how much progress the band has made today would be unfair, which is why this release is so special. It's basically a blueprint of The Autumn Effect
even giving us the offering to the radio slayer Wasteland
in its pre-perfected days. There is definitely some great stuff on this record as mentioned above, but it ultimately suffers from the fact that the band has done better than anything on this disc. Of course five years ago this rating may have been drastically different, but then again I thought Creed was the most metal thing and screaming meant you were Totally Br00tal.
Track recommendations include: Blank Shell, At A Loss, Wasteland