In The Nursery
Blind Sound


4.0
excellent

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
April 20th, 2011 | 42 replies | 13,566 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Elegant, powerful, brooding and poetic. Another excellent mix of neo-classical instrumentation, electronics, poetic lyrics and a subtle modern rock foundation.

In the Nursery have been in existence for about thirty years and have over two dozen albums in their discography. They began their career as a lo-fi industrial act, but they quickly moved in a much more unique direction. This direction was basically an electronics-based neo-classical sound that initially specialized in short, simple pieces that made up for rough edges with quite a bit of ambition. The band’s fourth LP, L’esprit, was the first to truly perfect their core formula which meant that ensuing releases could focus on expanding the scope of their music – a process that they started immediately. Subsequent releases – notably Sense and Duality – saw the band’s neo-classical direction shift from simple little pieces to more complex cinematic compositions that added a great deal of percussion and an ability to create dense moody atmospheres. This sound was augmented by occasional poetic interjections that were read by one of two vocalists, one male and one female. While this might initially sound like an odd collection of influences, it actually worked really well and it didn’t stop there. Eventually the band returned a bit of the traditional electronic elements to the mix and even supplemented a few songs with subtle rock conventions.

This entire progression seemed to culminate with the aptly titled Era in 2007. This was an album that made use of just about every element the band had ever previously tried in order to deliver what is arguably their best and most comprehensive album to date. If Era was the culmination of thirty years of history then Blind Sound is the darker, moodier companion piece – an album that further refines all of those past ideas and feeds them through songs that are built on a modern rock foundation, but delivered through a neo-classical filter. This increased emphasis on modern musical structure is evident in the stronger, more cyclical melodies that almost act as each song’s hook, as well as a more melodic vocal style than the previous predominately spoken-word efforts. Opening track, “Artisans of Civilization”, begins with the brass, string and woodwind instruments that one would expect but when the percussion comes in things quickly change. The rhythmic beat is still delivered in the rolling, militaristic style that the band has used extensively in the past, but it sounds like it is played on a full drum kit instead of a single snare. Also, the beat itself is just a little more ‘loose’ than the rigid tempos of old. The lyrics, as well, while still retaining their poetic feel, are delivered in more of a deep ‘goth’ style than the classy spoken-word of the past. The main thing is that it all still works and has allowed the band to subtly alter the overall tone of their music.

In the Nursery have always been able to deliver dark, menacing neo-classical songs when they want but with their slight directional change they now dominate the album. On Blind Sound every song seems to be comprised of ominous tones and melodies accompanied by a steady rhythmic percussion – an element that has really gained a lot of power on this release. This base is often augmented by subtle ‘found sounds’, layered electronic synths, and even the occasional bit of dissonance in order to enhance the sense of unease that permeates throughout each track. Even the songs with the female vocalist – songs that were always the most soothing in the past – aren’t exempt from the dark tones, rhythmic percussion and brooding build-ups. The first instance of their female vocalist is on the song “Crepuscule” which begins with a solemn choir-like keyboard melody that is eventually joined by edgy percussion and layers of tense symphonic elements that just barely allow the delicate vocals room to breathe. There are still the occasional peaceful moments on this album such as the morose “Coloured Silence”, but they are few and far between.

It seems that at this point In the Nursery have got this electro, neo-classical (whatever?) style down to a science because they effortlessly move from style-to-style and influence-to-influence with a seamless fluidity that keeps thing fresh and smooth. After thirty years of releases, Blind Sound’s overall blend of elegance, power and melancholy shouldn’t come as much of a surprise but their emphasis on power and melancholy will. In the Nursery have definitely released the darkest album of their career, but it is also one of their best. Blind Sound works because it takes the band’s music in yet another slightly different direction – a direction that that pushes the tight, rolling percussion to the forefront of most songs while delivering moody neo-classical melodies through a subtle modern rock foundation.



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user ratings (12)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
April 20th 2011



15919 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

http://www.myspace.com/inthenursery/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/In-The-Nursery/21203233590

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae

BallsToTheWall
April 20th 2011



44197 Comments


Good review sounds interesting.

Digging: My Chemical Romance - Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge

afghanwhigger
April 20th 2011



67 Comments


I've always avoided this group... but your excellent review makes me want to acquire their whole discography and start from the beginning. Damn You.

rotterdog
April 20th 2011



488 Comments


Never heard of these guys. Would this be the best place to start, or do they have a classic album I should check out first?

Itwasthatwas
April 20th 2011



769 Comments


cant get into these vocals at all

Irving
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2011



7177 Comments


Is this better than Yanni? Haha!

Anyway - great review Trey. I might just check this out - sounds awesome.

Digging: Ty Segall - Manipulator

Acanthus
April 20th 2011



9537 Comments


Hmm neo-classical electronic music, this might be interesting!

Willie
Moderator
April 20th 2011



15919 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've always avoided this group... but your excellent review makes me want to acquire their whole discography and start from the beginning. Damn You.
I actually got into these guys through a soundtrack that they did for a movie called An Ambush of Ghosts. It took me a few listens to really click, but now I really like most their stuff.

I've always avoided this group... but your excellent review makes me want to acquire their whole discography and start from the beginning. Damn You.
Their best album would probably be Era. I'm partial to Sense, though.

cant get into these vocals at all
Yeah, the new deeper dramatic vocals on a few of the songs might be off-putting for some. Those vocals aren't on every track though. Possibly try Era cause those vocals aren't on that album (if I remember correctly).

Anyway - great review Trey. I might just check this out - sounds awesome.
Dude, you were supposed to check out Era forever ago. ;)

Irving
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2011



7177 Comments


Dude, you were supposed to check out Era forever ago. ;)

Life got in the way man - my apologies. I'm back in full force now, and ready to atone for past sins hahaha. At the very least this review definitely piqued my interest in them to a greater extent. It'll all work out =)

pizzamachine
April 20th 2011



12571 Comments


I'm definitely checking this out. Great review as per always.

Willie
Moderator
April 20th 2011



15919 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cool. I know that this band is a little different than what is usually on the site, but there is a collective that could still get into this.

Acanthus
April 21st 2011



9537 Comments


Some of the tracks I listened to from Era were absolutely divine, don't know if this will make it into my collection however.

Willie
Moderator
April 21st 2011



15919 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Why not? Just not your thing?

Scoot
April 21st 2011



17734 Comments


Hmm...sounds interesting.

Acanthus
April 21st 2011



9537 Comments


So far the tracks seem to be hit and miss, I really really enjoyed "Blueprint" but the tracks such as "Tempered Wings" make me a bit cautious when considering the replay value.

Willie
Moderator
April 21st 2011



15919 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Tempered Wings" is a long song and is meant to have a slower build-up and be one of the more 'atmospheric' tracks. It also trades the abundance of percussion for what can basically be called a trip-hop beat. That song is definitely different than most of what is on Era or this album.

Acanthus
April 21st 2011



9537 Comments


I'll have to continue giving tracks a listen then as I really like the neo-classical style used here.

booreno62
April 21st 2011



69 Comments


Might give this a shot. Great review. I'm really digging the album cover.

Willie
Moderator
April 22nd 2011



15919 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's going to be an acquired taste, but I think it could surprise a lot of people.

TehInterWebz
April 22nd 2011



37 Comments


What is this?



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