Sights and Sounds
Monolith


4.0
excellent

Review

by fromtheinside USER (127 Reviews)
November 7th, 2009 | 238 replies | 20,022 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It's as if Thrice made love to (Anthony Green) Saosin while listening to Pink Floyd, and Salival was playing on the TV in the background.

12 of 12 thought this review was well written

The fact that this cd right here has not been reviewed this year is simply beyond me. Initially when I put this in for the first time I expected decent post-hardcore probably somewhere in the realm of Emery and the ever failing Saosin. What I got was something more along the lines of one hell of a psychedelic enthused progressive post hardcore experience. To put it simply this is one of the best albums in the genre and would be criminally over-looked if not at least spoken about in this year’s top releases.

It’s been years since an album has literally demanded my attention to a point where I felt guilty pausing any section of the song, for the fear of losing momentum with the listening experience. Enter: 'Monolith' by Sights and Sounds. The album was produced by Devin Townsend (Darkest Hour and Misery Signals) a pretty recognizable name, he gives this album its beefy feel and rarely reflects those of his past works. Opener Sorrows paints an excellent picture of the capabilities this band has, yet still doesn’t compromise the rest of the disc, as it’s still just a taste of what’s to come. Starting with a slow moving piano intro which transitions into a rapid drum beat, the listener is cascaded into heavy riffage and a prolific aggression delivered by front man Andrew Neufeld. I’m a big believer that your first track is to set the tone for the rest of the album, and this song certainly delivers on that expectation.

Storm and the Sun is heavily punk influenced, but keeps a feel of its own thanks to Neufeld and the band’s serious need of incorporating an almost space-rock atmosphere. It gets a little Nu-Metally at times, but sporadic clever moments keep the song grounded, like about 45 seconds in the second verse is ushered in with a violent growl of “Lies!”. Still if one wants to see the true genius of the band they should listen to Neighbours. After its quirky intro, it transforms into one of the most powerful songs I’ve laid my ears upon this year. What works best is the way they incorporate so much into one song, bouncing around what sounds like Linkin Park before erupting into the more matured Tool.

The production is absolutely stellar and suits their style of play very well. The Furthest Truth alludes to another hard rock affair like its predecessor, before dropping off into a great power ballad. Joel Neufeld has a very sound presence on the drums not over shadowing the vocals or dual guitar work, but also isn’t lost in the flood of noise that is sometimes thrown at the listener. On the flip side Pedal Against the Wind enters like another over dramatic Sidewalks song before exploding into a heavy barrage of screamed ”I Escapes” reminiscent of something Rise Against might have done pre-‘Appeal To Reason’.

I don’t feel ashamed calling this listen a journey because the band is very cautious with progressing on throughout the record, never to tread the waters as they’d done so earlier. While that’s slightly disappointing knowing there aren’t any other songs to match the intensity of the first three tracks, this is by no means a top loaded album. This provides for a refreshing voyage as we’re given strong winded songs like Reconcile and the heavy acoustic Borderlines. Still, what’s most unexpected is the closing track Pillars, which dabbles in Brand New’s area of vulnerability with Neufeld singing against the sound of distant birds and what’s either cars passing by or the ocean crashing against the beach.

My one complaint would be the simplistic approach to their ballads as they don’t often match the creativity nor craftsmanship of their heavier kin. The Clutter was a pretty forgettable track; it just coasts through a simple chord play and really breathy whispers, its a pretty uneventful melancholic Taking Back Sunday break up song. While this doesn't necessarily impede the entire listening experience it dampens the outlook. With that being said though, this is still a terrific debut and follow up to their EP, and I would not be shocked to see this band mentioned among the top ranks of their peers in the coming years. This cd is a commendable defense for a genre that is becoming diluted with carbon copy bands.

Album streaming - http://www.myspace.com/sightsandsounds
Recommendable tracks include: Sorrows, Neighbours, Pillars, Storm and the Sun



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Comments:Add a Comment 
fromtheinside
November 7th 2009



16352 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

shocked, shocked, shocked this hasn't been reviewed.

there are probably mistakes. also i don't really like the conclusion but it worked better than my other one.

enjoy this album folks its so good.

Digging: Bast - Spectres

Nikkolae
November 7th 2009



4381 Comments


well i'll tell you one thing, the review got me very much intrested, im checking it out as we speak, and reconcile sounds pretty sweet, so thus far its all good, also great review

Digging: Corrupted - Paso Inferior

bloc
November 7th 2009



34489 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah, it's been a while since this was released. i thought this band would make quite an impact on sputnik.

they really do have that thrice sound, and even though i am not a fan of them, this album is decent.

good ol' Devin Townsend doing production, i could not resist to give it a listen anyway.

Digging: Gamma Ray - Empire of the Undead

YouAreMySilence
November 7th 2009



3727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This record pwns sooo hard.
Finally someone wrote a review for it,
pos'd.

EasternLight
November 7th 2009



2695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this record is really good. wow.

Zoo
November 7th 2009



3759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

im surprised this hasn't gotten more attention as well, being one of the better post hardcore releases this year

fromtheinside
November 7th 2009



16352 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks guys. yeah as you know i can't believe it either. if nothing else they should at least become a "Sputnik Band" I feel like.

EasternLight
November 7th 2009



2695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

these guys, and a voice like rhetoric. absolutely.

YouAreMySilence
November 7th 2009



3727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Especially with Townsend producing it I thought this would have got much more attention then it did.

Zettel
November 7th 2009



581 Comments


Very good, review, mister. You got me interested.

fromtheinside
November 7th 2009



16352 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

http://www.myspace.com/sightsandsounds
yeah i recommend checking them out dude, their myspace has the full album i believe. i'll post it in the review too.

YouAreMySilence
November 7th 2009



3727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Also, The Clutter is def the best song.

fromtheinside
November 7th 2009



16352 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hell no. i'll fight to death for sorrows or neighbours as thee best songs. the clutter is way to simple and unimaginative compared to the rest of these tracks obviously made with mainstream intentions.

YouAreMySilence
November 7th 2009



3727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

No way brofo. Being like 7 minutes long I don't see how it mainstream focused. Its probably the most powerful for me.

fromtheinside
November 7th 2009



16352 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The latter half of that track is just noise. This isn't necessarily your typical mainstream band either be it in the vein of Tool they could release a track like that. Still, clutter revels around too much repetition and not enough progression to make it really stand out as something special.

YouAreMySilence
November 7th 2009



3727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

But dude, the vocals! When he shouts over the simple and slow melody that has to be one of the best moments on the vocals.
I think the repetition adds to it, but then again I'm more into that kind of music.

fromtheinside
November 7th 2009



16352 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the song definitely has its highlights, his voice is sometimes unmatched on that track, but i like the furthest truth as the best ballad that outro is stunning.

YouAreMySilence
November 7th 2009



3727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yah thats definatly a rad song. He's definatly a talented vocalist, though I don't really like the gang vocals like in Sorrows.
Have you heard his work with Comeback Kid?

Athom
Staff Reviewer
November 7th 2009



17114 Comments


: )

Digging: Sad Lovers and Giants - Feeding the Flame

bloc
November 7th 2009



34489 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i always get YouAreMySilence and fromtheinside mixed up on sputnik. looking at this thread, my head just exploded.




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