At The Soundawn
Shifting


4.0
excellent

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
April 27th, 2010 | 43 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The sprawling progressive nature of this post metal band’s second release makes for a steep learning curve, but it’s worth making the effort in order for the songs to finally click.

This is a tough album to get into. At the Soundawn take elements of post rock, post metal and progressive and mix them into one amorphous collection of songs. They allow each track to slowly evolve towards an eventual finale that can consist of everything from sparse tranquility to crushing heaviness during the process. Each track’s extended duration allows it to accomplish this excursion in the most gradual and natural of manners, rarely returning to a motif that they’ve previously touched on. They also avoid elements as arbitrary as hooks or a defined direction in favor of abstraction and an ever-present sense of movement. Instead of succumbing to normal convention, they allow the musical atmospheres and powerful vocals to provide their hook – and the constant influx of melodies carries the listener forward despite the lack of a defined routine.

Each track’s gradual progression is punctuated by the band’s creative rhythm section. The bass and drums are almost constantly locked into busy interplays that weave throughout the melodies. They can shift from subtle tribal accentuations to pounding low-end with ease, but are almost consistently entwined with the melodies and riffs in some innovative fashion regardless. As much as the music shines with its various ebbs-and-flows, so do the vocals. The gravel-throated delivery of Luca De Stefano is the source that pushes the intensity of the dissonant sections and his expressive clean singing lends the songs a soul that would otherwise be missing. Accentuating the main elements of each song are thin layers of ambient synth, occasional “found sounds” and brass instrumentation (or at least a trumpet or two). These occasional elements are the final pieces required to complete the band’s creative take on the post metal genre.

Whether this sounds interesting on paper or not, the fact of the matter is that the freeform characteristics of the music makes this an album that requires an attentive listener that’s willing to devote a bit of time getting to know the various shifts and turns of each track. Until that familiarity is reached, listening to this album will probably go by without much retention of any specific sections or elements. Listening to this could easily be compared to driving a street for the first time – until the various landmarks become familiar, any trip down that street ends with vague memories and a lack of anything solid to hold onto. With Shifting, though, the repeated trips are definitely worth the reward.



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user ratings (32)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
A J M H CONTRIBUTOR (4)
A complex but mesmerizing journey through the land of experimental metal....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
April 27th 2010


16133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Check out their songs:

http://www.myspace.com/atthesoundawn

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

jingledeath
April 27th 2010


7104 Comments


Nice, will definitely be checking this out. Their last album was cool.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2010


17225 Comments


every time i see these guys mentioned it makes me want to listen to Red Sparowes. At the
Sound(less)dawn

HenchmanOfSanta
April 27th 2010


1902 Comments


What a stupid name. Will probably check this out though.

Willie
Moderator
April 27th 2010


16133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They're from Italy. Maybe it sounded better to them.

bloozclooz
April 27th 2010


1770 Comments


what's it translate to?

Willie
Moderator
April 27th 2010


16133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Who knows? I just mean that if I learned german or italian or something and decided to name my band using that second language I could come up with something that I thought sounded cool that native speakers thought was pretty bad.

jasonslfl
April 27th 2010


97 Comments


I'm digging Mudra. I didn't really think it was that hard to get into though, I'm definitely going to give this whole album a good listen.

Willie
Moderator
April 27th 2010


16133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It was easy to get into, but it took awhile to really connect with - to recognize the individual songs and remember favorite parts, etc.

Crimson Death
April 27th 2010


533 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice review, I listened to Mudra then bought the album. I'm on Prometheus now, awesome song. I'll rate after another listen, I skimmed through some songs.

PanasonicYouth
April 27th 2010


7412 Comments


so yeah i have one contact lens in and i thought the title said shitting

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2010


20857 Comments


"but it’s an worth making " Summary needs fixing.

Willie
Moderator
April 27th 2010


16133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, thanks. I originally had it as "but it's an effort worth making" before I changed it at the last second...

Willie
Moderator
April 28th 2010


16133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, the horns during some of the songs are pretty cool and unexpected. It's one of the things that makes Souls at Zero by Neurosis so good, but no one else has really done it since (that I've heard), until these guys.

Photon
April 28th 2010


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The Post metal in the summary did it for me ..will check this out

Crimson Death
April 28th 2010


533 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I am really into this! Hopefully it's not one of those bands that quickly grow off me.

Willie
Moderator
April 28th 2010


16133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't think it will be. I've had this for just about a month and it hasn't grown off of me at all.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
April 28th 2010


6289 Comments


I think their name is an abbreviation of the first Red Sparowes album title

At the Soundless Dawn

Digging: Madred - Supersonic Brainfuck Overdrive

Willie
Moderator
April 28th 2010


16133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That's possible. I haven't listened to that album in a long time so I couldn't say if this band ever had a similar sound.

LG
April 28th 2010


3049 Comments


Nice another prog album...In your opinion which album is better; their debut or this one?



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