Review Summary: A solid, fresh album that has enough stylistic punch and technical merit to stand out amongst a lot of similar efforts.
3 of 4 thought this review was well written
I recently realized that there is a certain quality that generally has the power to save almost any hopeful "core" band from drowning in the endless sea of myspace metalcore bands. This quality that I speak of is groove; a nebulous, completely unreachable concept for a lot of "core" bands to even acknowledge and much less competently grasp, but when it is achieved, a lot of great musical opportunities for creativity and ingenuity seem to automatically open up.
It just so happens that groove is more than the fuel that SRTL runs on; it is the engine the band runs with. The album has a very strong hardcore influence and there are many a breakdown, but the goal is not brutality as much as it is rhythm and dynamics. The second strongest influence that is sensed is southern rock. A lot of this comes from the vocal deliverance of Blake Prince, which I must say is pretty incredible. He displays an impressive range and emits a real sense of urgency and raw attitude in his screaming, all with a prominent southern edge. The guitars and drums "swing" and (here it is) "groove" more than they shred or chug.
One thing that needs to be understood is that this album IS heavy and it IS technical; actually, exceptionally technical. Both guitarists and the drummer bring the shred a lot more (or at least more effectively) than you'll find in probably ninety percent of the other bands in the genre. The riffs are dense and choppy, the drumming is tight, and everything is extremely precise but not to a robotic extent. This is a surprisingly organic album considering the level of intensity that is reached. The bassist has very few audible lines or passages, but he does add some nice dynamics with slides and by creating a booming low end in the really heavy sections.
Another vital component to SRTL's sound is melody. This album has two modes; densely technical shred and breakdownage (that's still groovy. I'm trying not to overuse that word), and ambient, melodically uplifting and occasionally epic breaks. The mellow ambient parts are actual mellow ambient parts, meaning none of them sound like a metal band's mediocre attempt at a mellow ambient part. The clean, delay-heavy guitar lines are astonishingly beautiful and tastefully intricate. The big epic sections are big and epic without getting too cheesy or heavy handed. The Author is, in many ways, a very pretty album, though it is mostly comprised of frantic, noisy sections.
This may seem like it reads a bit higher than a 4, but there are still a couple of points. This album does a lot of things right, and gives you (well, me) a lot of things that you want right off the bat. Everything is very to-the-point. None of the songs exceed three minutes in length, which makes this a pretty easy listen commitment-wise. While I greatly appreciated this within the first two weeks of my purchase, I soon realized that this album has a short shelf-life, as with any music that instantly gratifies on so many levels. For all of its technicality and intriguing nuances, The Author is simply not deep enough to have real staying power in your car stereo. Wonderful as it is, it quickly becomes "been there, done that." Still, I would recommend this album to anybody with an ear for technical, melodic, southern hardcore (or any combination of those things), because it makes for a great listen from time to time, and these guys are still infinitely more fresh than ninety five percent of the crap that you'll find on myspace.
I hate your intro and I am really considering negging you for that. It's not the genre, it's the bands you listen to. There are plenty of excellent metalcore bands out there that don't just chug and breakdown. Tired of everyone on this site putting 2 seconds into looking and declaring an entire genre dead. I bet I can listen to this and rec a decent amount of bands that are just as good.
Sorry that had to happen to your review, but that just pissed me off so much. I'll probably read this later and I'll check out this band too.
Hmmmm... I see your points. I think my brain got into that mode from all of the reviews that I have read on this site hahaha, though I do think that the genre really is pretty bad as a whole. Yes shortone323, you could find a decent amount of bands that are just as good, and I agree that it's about the bands you listen to, not the genres, I just know that as redundant as the metalcore bashing is, it's how a lot of people feel. Still, I'll take your comments into consideration in future reviews.
The more I read the intro, the more I wanted to shoot myself, so the intro has been rewritten. Hopefully this works a little better. The metalcore bashing isn't completely gone, but hopefully it's a bit less childish (yes, it was childish before, I admit that).
Yea, that's better. It just pisses me off that people can, and consistenly do, write off an entire genre because some bands suck. Honestly, there really aren't that many breakdown breakdown breakdown bands that are really popular anymore. A lot more bands are incorporating melody and the keyboard is a huge fad.
Check out some of my higher ratings and you'll probably find something you like. There are plenty of bands like this out there, just stop looking at the shit ones. Considering you liked The Devil Wears Prada, check out Settle the Sky because they're a much better version of them.
And the review is good aside from that, which you reoved, so I think I'm gonna pos. That neg wasn't from me by the way.
Do it. Band is so good. Check out my review if you want the full scoop (shameless self promotion). And if you like that, I listen to a bunch of good metalcore you probably won't hear about on this site, so feel free to hit me up for a rec.