East of the Wall
Split


4.0
excellent

Review

by Alex C. Soothsayer USER (33 Reviews)
December 28th, 2009 | 26 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Three of the best bands in underground post-metal converge for an excellent split. There is something for every fan of the genre to be found here.

Post-Metal is a sparse genre. Bands like Neurosis and ISIS have pioneered the genre nearly singlehandedly , then explored every nook the genre has to offer, almost exhausting the genre by themselves. There is not much left to do in the post-metal genre except try to perfect a sound or attempt to find a new one. Three of the most respected names in the underground post-metal scene today are New Jersey based East of the Wall (formed out of the ashes of progressive band The Postman Syndrome), France's Year of No Light and Rosetta hailing from Philly. Each of these bands have high credentials in the underground post-metal scene, but have yet to burst into the mainstream. None of them are fighting to break free from the chains the big guys have tied them down to, but each of them are unique in their own way. Bringing them all together for a split (or should it be called a tri...?) to showcase what they have to offer is a logical decision, and one that proves to be a very enjoyable listening experience.

First up to the plate is East of the Wall with their three part mega song 'Scumbrella'. Starting off with a melody that sounds like a Russian folk tune, 'Mud Button' is a song you have to hear to believe. The song is short and sweet at only a minute long, but it packs in enough substance to stay interesting. A thrashy riff rolls through out of the Russian melody, followed by a down tempo section that segues the song right into the next. 'Silt' is a quiet interlude that acts like the gatekeeper to the main even that is 'Dirt Merchant.' At nearly 8 minutes long 'Dirt Merchant' is classic East of The Wall; progressive and heavy. A slight melody change lets you know that the previous track has ended and the next has begun. The track flows perfectly, bringing together many ideas into one tight package. A fuzzy intro leads into a bass and guitar jam which leads into a galloping rhythm part. The bass is very prominent in East of the Wall's songs, which is nice to hear from a post-metal band. The band dabbles in some post-rock influenced sections before coming together for a balls to the wall metal climax at the end. A delayed guitar rings out waving goodbye, leaving the listener with a great final impression of East to The Wall.

French act Year of No Light starts off the second side of the split with 'Cimmeria.' Right from the start Year's distinct sludgy guitars enter, followed by their Steve Von Till (Neurosis) like vocals. Similar to their full length, the vocals are pushed back in the mix, letting the band take the foreground. Even if one is fluent in French the lyrics are still inaudible as they are purposefully fuzzy, however this is not a bad thing. Unlike their previous work, the songs on this split are a lot more sludge influenced, heavily recalling early Neurosis. As mentioned earlier, bands in this genre typically do not try to innovate, but improve, and Year of No Light have almost succeeded at that task. The songs here do not live up to those on the full length, which is unfortunate. Those looking for the raw aggression found on Nord will be disappointed to hear the new Year of No Light. However, this approach works to some degree. One of the most interesting aspects of the two songs are that they are in major. At points they sound very uplifting and almost happy, but the downtuned guitars and thick bass drown out those emotions. Synth strings and keys can be heard in the background further adding to the feel of the songs. Although the two songs Year of No Light contributed to the split may be their weakest, they are still worth a listen for fans of the band.

Last, but certainly not least is Rosetta. Rosetta have chosen to contribute a cover of post-punk legends The Cure's 'Homesick'; an interesting choice for a post-metal band to say the least (funny enough, Year of No Light has been quoted by critics as "The Cure playing sludge.") Surprisingly, Rosetta pull it off incredibly well, making for the best song on the split. The band sticks very closely to the original song, but add their own Rosetta flair to the tune. Delay drenched guitars smoothly play the dual guitar melody that begins the song instead of acoustic like the original. Clean vocals enter, but it seems as though the entire split was produced and mixed by the same person, sadly pushing the vocals too far back like on Year of No Light's songs. Rosetta adds layered vocals to the mix, pilling up crisp growls over the clean vocals. The track flows just as well as the original, coming to a steady jam near the end with entirely growled vocals. Rosetta could not have done a better job on this cover, they stay close enough to the original while still adding their own twists, making it a must-hear for fans of either band.

Three of the best bands in underground post-metal converge for an excellent split. While none of them are reinventing the post-metal wheel, they are each doing something new to spice up the old recipes of the genre. East of The Wall pulls no punches with their three part epic 'Scumbrella'. Year of No Light decided to go Through Silver and Blood era Neurosis and cover us in sludge, but unfortunately not pulling it off as well as one would hope. Finally Rosetta delivers one of the strangest, but best, cover of The Cure's 'Homesick.' All in all this triple split is worth the cost of admission; there is something for every fan of the genre to be found here.



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user ratings (25)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Prophet178
December 28th 2009


6397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Good stuff. If you haven't heard of these bands and like Neurosis or ISIS, definitely check this out. If you have heard of these bands you better have this.

Powerban
December 28th 2009


2380 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't have this yet. But my internet is fail until tomorrow. All these bands are sexy.

Prophet178
December 28th 2009


6397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Cool, let me know what you think when you grab it.

Powerban
December 28th 2009


2380 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Will do. It's certain to be at least a 4 I reckon by what you stated.

Relinquished
December 28th 2009


25498 Comments


Oh I remember The Postman Syndrome. Yeah this is good but it hasn't quite caught my attention yet. Great review man.

Ponton
Emeritus
December 28th 2009


5815 Comments


Very interesting, I'm a fan of Rosetta so I may try the cover. Would this be in your top ten for 2009?

Digging: Ben Howard - I Forget Where We Were

Powerban
December 28th 2009


2380 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You should grab The Farmers Almanac by East Of The Wall btw. It's got some really great instrumental passages and the guitarwork is pretty astounding. I think you said you only had the EP?

Prophet178
December 28th 2009


6397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Oh I remember The Postman Syndrome. Yeah this is good but it hasn't quite caught my attention yet. Great review man.


Thank you good sir. I think the Year of No Light stuff drags this down a bit, but the East of the Wall and Rosetta cover more than make up for it.

Very interesting, I'm a fan of Rosetta so I may try the cover. Would this be in your top ten for 2009?


Number 13 as a matter a fact, http://sputnikmusic.com/list.php?listid=36485&memberid=420083

You should grab The Farmers Almanac by East Of The Wall btw. It's got some really great instrumental passages and the guitarwork is pretty astounding. I think you said you only had the EP?


Yeah I should, I've only heard the EP yes.

tombits
December 28th 2009


3471 Comments


You can't use the word "converge" on this site unless it's the band! CHANGE THAT SUMMARY!

Prophet178
December 28th 2009


6397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Oh, I didn't mention Converge is on this split too? Haha. I just like that word!

BobbbyLight
December 29th 2009


67 Comments


Loved the Postman Syndrome, they are in my top ten of the decade with Terraforming. I have EOTW's Farmer's Almanac and I have enjoyed it but haven't listened to it more than a few times. Might have to give this a try.

Powerban
January 2nd 2010


2380 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So this is pretty great. I might attempt to review East Of The Wall's LP.

I wouldn't even classify East Of The Wall post-rock or post-metal actually. More of a talented instrumental band with some sludgey moments, they typically have a faster tempo with a sludgey riff breakdown thrown in here and there. Hope they make another LP, it will most likely be better.

Doktor313
January 2nd 2010


3 Comments


If you guys go to Rosetta's myspace page. You can listen to "Homesick".

Prophet178
January 2nd 2010


6397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

So this is pretty great. I might attempt to review East Of The Wall's LP.


Cool. I've yet to hear it, but the EP is great.

I wouldn't even classify East Of The Wall post-rock or post-metal actually.


Hmmm I think post-metal is a fair genre classification for them. I guess maybe progressive would work too.

Hope they make another LP, it will most likely be better.


Yeah, it would be interesting to see how that works out since they combined with Biclops recently. They're more of a collective than a band now haha.

If you guys go to Rosetta's myspace page. You can listen to "Homesick".


Sick! That's my favorite song on the split.



Vooligan
January 24th 2010


3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've been listening to Homesick on repeat for the last 3 hours, i think im obsessed...

Powerban
January 24th 2010


2380 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0


Hmmm I think post-metal is a fair genre classification for them. I guess maybe progressive would work too.


I think they only can fit into the post-metal genre because they occasionally have a sludge-fest ala Australasia. It doesn't happen often enough for me to actually call them post anything.

I don't feel it's wrong to put them as post-metal or post-rock though.

Slimjim367
January 26th 2010


512 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

good split but i was dissapointed by it's length, seeing as each band's songs themselves are the length of normal bands EP's, bu thats jsut nitpicking, still a 4/5 for me
great review dude

Photon
January 30th 2010


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i have been listening to homesick frequently since i found it a few months ago ..a really good split ..love the year of no light part the most

Powerban
January 30th 2010


2380 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Metanoia rules.

Vooligan
February 2nd 2010


3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

a week later and still obsessed with Homesick. fuck its amazing.



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