Review Summary: A strong album from 'arguably the most progressive two-man show the world has ever seen.'
Anyone who has really played through Guitar Hero III can attest to the beauty of the song “Impulse”. The song that was as sonically pleasing as it was challenging and fun to play, “Impulse” left many rummaging through CDs at their local store searching for anything by this intriguing band they could get their hands on. An Endless Sporadic seemed to have so much variety in that one four minute song that the world wanted to know what else they could do. In 2008 they released their debut EP Ameliorate
, a four song effort that showcased more of the heavy riffing and technical prowess of arguably the most progressive two-man show the world has ever seen.
To quell the demands of listeners with obscenely high expectations of the band, An Endless Sporadic delivered their eponymous debut album. Ameliorate
‘s riff oriented music and awesome instrumentation took a step to the left on the An Endless Sporadic
, being replaced for the most part by melodic piano and atmospheric jazz. The maelstrom of influences that we got a taste of in “Impulse” and the rest of the EP are still present; but are much less prevalent, shining through rarely and being called upon much more sparingly.
The album begins with a soft acoustic guitar line over the chirping of birds. The jazzy bass sets a mellow tone that proves to be an important motif of the album. Melodic piano and electric guitar chime in towards the end of the song, and it segues perfectly into “From the Blue”, which opens with a catchy keyboard riff. The song showcases exactly what An Endless Sporadic are known for: multiple riffs that are each as catchy as the one that led into it. Completing this three-song suite is a chugging breakdown reminiscent of the one found at the end of Opeth’s “Deliverance”.
“Shell” opens with a soft piano and orchestral backdrop. Once again the Opeth influence can be found - this particular song drawing on “Damnation”. The drums and bass slowly build in intensity and eventually set into a jazzy rhythm. Neglecting the guitar, “Shell” is very much a post-rock offering, and a standout track. By far the best track on the album is “The Triangular Race Through Space”, a true throwback to the band that we had our first encounter with. The first guitar driven song, the “Race” provides a technically astounding riff and another breakdown riff. But just as soon as it got out of it, the album gets right back into a smooth pace with the flamenco styled “Eternal Bloom” and keeps relaxed for the rest of the album.
Though the album flows almost entirely like a jazz or post-rock composition, An Endless Sporadic really has yet to demarcate its genre. An Endless Sporadic
is completely different from Ameliorate
, but it’s still just as strong as the EP at what it chooses to do. The band continues to draw upon a huge variety of influences and integrates them all so well into their offering that it’s impossible to write it off as boring merely because it lacks the intensity and technicality of its predecessor. It may not have enough soloing, but from this we can see that the boys are focused more on the music they are making and not their own personal agendas. Every instrument (except maybe the guitar) plays a strong role well and the result is an excellent album that, while never pretentious, still shows us what the band is capable of. And this is enough for me to say that I will meet their next album with alacrity.