Scarlet
This Was Always Meant To Fall Apart


3.5
great

Review

by Mclovin USER (7 Reviews)
May 16th, 2010 | 28 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In 37 minutes, Scarlet's second (and last) full-length album is a product of concise, yet equally enigmatic songwriting abilities. Unfortunately, the album proves the band's potential more so than their maturity.

Scarlet was, from the time I started the first track, a sort of enigma to me. As I gave the CD its first spin, each time that I seemed to form a confident opinion on the band - positive or negative - it was crushed moments later. For me, this seems to be the story of Scarlet; a band whose life was, sadly, cut far too short for them to settle into their sound and potential, as the band went on a long-term hiatus after the release of this album.

In This Was Always Meant To Fall Apart, there are moments that invoke the strongest of emotions, ranging from strong, withheld frustration to balls-to-the-wall madness, expressed through memorable melodies (see: "The Embrace of a Paramedic"), occasional crushing - yet seldom generic - breakdown passages, strong production, intelligently aggressive lyrics, and enigmatically complex rhythms. However, it's also quite evident that the band died at a very awkward, pubescent age. The moments of brilliance are there, showcasing the band's potential, yet it seems as though no song fully exercises it. Upon the first few listens, the band's repetitive handful of chord progressions, similarly chaotic tapping passages, and little variation in sound as a whole come to light, and greatly dampen the album's grandeur.

As far as sound aesthetics go, This Was Always Meant To Fall Apart is certainly a strong offering. Brandon Roundtree, the vocalist for Scarlet on this album, delivers some of the most angry, emotion-filled, cat-in-a-blender screams that I've heard in the genre, integrating powerful highs and equally strong lows into an all-out vocal assault. However, he should probably stick to that; his clean vocals tend to drop the ball at the emotional heights of several songs, sounding like a monotone teenager who forgot to take his allergy medication. They're certainly good enough to get by, but aren't quite up to snuff with the proficiency of the other aspects of the band. The guitarists and drummer can shred; that's made clear throughout. Yet they also know when to let songwriting take over, and show great judgment in restraint.

For the listener, the greatest challenge is undoubtedly decoding the album as a whole; in this sense, the album takes a while to fully appreciate. If you are anything like me, you will be left after the album's concise 37 minutes asking yourself, "what just happened?" As with most metalcore acts following the progressive road-less-traveled-by, the album, on the surface. sounds like a wild maelstrom of sound. Most music of a similar nature tends to be quite difficult to judge in terms of focus. Even Calculating Infinity by The Dillinger Escape Plan, a classic within the genre, tends to be overwhelmingly chaotic for the first-time listener. For this reason, This Was Always Meant To Fall Apart cannot be judged immediately (as much as I tried to do so, trust me, it ain't worth it).

As a final judgment, focus does not seem to be the missing ingredient in the album. Each song concisely achieves its purpose, invokes an emotional response, then moves to the next song in 3 minutes or shorter (perhaps the strongest track, "Law is Lawless", is 2:34). However, this ironically seems to be the biggest problem with the album - it's too focused, in that respect. In several cases, the band fails to build songs appropriately in a superfluous effort to not overstay its welcome. Many times, a brilliant theme, a soaring chorus, or a strongly emotional passage is delivered, yet as soon as the listener comprehends what's going on, the moment is gone, never to be referenced again.

Nonetheless, Scarlet left us with a strong testament of the band's abilities and a solid listen (along with a strong desire to hear more). Who knows, perhaps the band's hiatus will end, and Scarlet will return with a more mature lineup? If this ends up being the case, expect something big.

Recommended tracks:
Swarm Manifesto
Simply Carcinogenic
Law is Lawless
The Embrace of the Paramedic



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user ratings (54)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Mclovin
May 16th 2010


293 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

First review! So, any and all criticism is welcome and greatly appreciated.

Bitchfork
May 16th 2010


7584 Comments


Never bold anything. Italicize album titles and put quotes around song titles. Bolding things on sputnik is one of my pet peeves, so I refuse to read the review till you do so.

Mclovin
May 16th 2010


293 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fixed.

ffs
May 16th 2010


4888 Comments


good review last fm has been reccing me this band for a while

dswhite85
May 17th 2010


19 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Finally! Good review, this band is one of my all time favorites, great work.

Oneiron
May 17th 2010


195 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is a step down from Cult Classic, but still great. One of the most overlooked bands ever

botb
May 17th 2010


9780 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is a step up from Cult Classic, but that's still great too.

Good to see this finally has a review. This is one of my personal favorite albums.

botb
May 17th 2010


9780 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

and fuck off i love brandon roundtree. his cleans are incredible.
annnnnnd he's a friend of mine :3

Oneiron
May 17th 2010


195 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Roundtree does a good job on this album, his cleans are better than Spencers are and fit the music well. Spencer's vocals fit the style on Cult Classic better and his lyrics are waaaaaaaaay above what's on this.

And this album has no slow burning songs like Human Pollen, Black Hole Girl, You're My Fix, and Suicide King.

Mclovin
May 17th 2010


293 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I haven't heard Cult Classic, but after listening to this, it's definitely on my to-do list. I was quite shocked to see how unknown this was on Sputnik.

Personally, I have the same opinion of Roundtree as I do of Tommy Rogers from BTBAM. Neither are bad singers, per se, and they get the job done. They're both decent. It's just that neither of their clean vocals meet the quality of the other aspects of timbre in the band, in my opinion.

Oneiron
May 17th 2010


195 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cult Classic is much more chaotic than this, and much more abrasive. And much more awesome. It's pretty much my favorite album ever, or damn close.

Mclovin
May 17th 2010


293 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well, I'll be certain to get Cult Classic next, and hopefully get my review total up to...DOS! CHABANG!

dswhite85
May 19th 2010


19 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Spitfire is another awesome band

Mclovin
May 29th 2010


293 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I haven't heard Spitfire yet; are they similar?

dswhite85
June 28th 2010


19 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Spitfire is like Scarlet, but slightly better

botb
May 22nd 2011


9780 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"It's just that neither of their clean vocals meet the quality of the other aspects of timbre in the band, in my opinion."

haha that's so weird because he's primarily a clean vocalist and really really good at it.


nononsense
January 29th 2013


3431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Brandon is in Conditions now.

FashionableScrotum
March 2nd 2013


4 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Still my favourite all time album. Cleans send chills down my spine and the screams are full if volume and force. Definitely a play completely through album. No one will ever come close to duplicating this type of album. I feel like it belongs in a 37 minute horror film with only the music on full blast.

TheMoreira
June 5th 2013


7182 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is soooo good.

wacknizzle
October 2nd 2013


13704 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Rules, Obsolete and Swarm Manifesto open the album perfectly, such great songs

Digging: Phobocosm - Deprived



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