Forming in late 2003 after Adam Glynn's split with relatively popular Australian metal band Frankenbok, Glynn planned to create something where his voice could be fully explored and have no restrictions. After aquiring band members, they started off as a jamming band until they caught the eye of the infamous D.W Norton (producer of faultline records, ex-Superheist member) and made this obscure yet thrilling debut album. With supporting bands such as Arch Enemy and home grown act Daysend, Five Star Prison Cell have set their sights outside of Austrailia, hoping to support international bands from other parts of the world so they can spread the noise.
The album begins with The Imparting Of Wisdom Upon A Subject Turned To Stone. It�s a great opener and introduction to Five Star Prison Cell. You can hear this song on their myspace website. Anyway the song starts off bombastically and is relentless the whole way through. You feel the power surging through thick and complex riffs. Some may draw parallels to such bands as Dillinger Escape Plan with this band especially with a number of tracks including this one and �Dead Air�. Such bands may influence five Star but they definitely stand on their own. Former Frankenbok vocalist Adam Glynn uses his diverse voice and pounds through the song screaming and growling incomprehensibly at times quite like Mike Patton. There�s no denying that Glynn�s voice is either amazingly unique and well delivered or amazingly annoying. But the latter will not affect fans of this sparse genre and Patton fans will approve.
As soon as the opening track finishes listeners will have no time to recover when this monster of a track slams through speakers of their cd player. [b]Vexed (For Reasons Torn)[B/] starts off with some nice blast beating from Marc Whitworth and some unique riffing from Marek. This song does have more of a structure than the previous track and the there seems to be more flow. The lyrics are a bit repetitive in parts but the delivery is excellent, the best I�ve heard in a while. The musicianship shines brightly through this song with nice tight breakdown with some time changes dispersed throughout.
The Musicianship continues to shine even more brightly for [b]Sequels To An Aftermath[B/]. It�s the first time IMO that the band uses some catchy yet well-written riffs. Especially the chorus when Glynn is shouting ( �You decide today as you turn that page/ You will not subordinate� ). Towards the end of the track, things start to get weird with Glynn then singing quietly almost monk like (�Akin to the sun
Akin to the sun hillock again. Vengence.�). Very well written lyrics and this song sounds like as if hell�s boiling over. Awesome stuff.
Things just seem to be getting better and better as this is one of my favourite tracks. Ballad Of The Cheated is the longest track on the album clocking in at 6:17. It starts off with the most memoriable introductory with a clean guitar sweep picking with bass playing behind it setting up the scene for the rest of the song. The vocals and drums kick in for a little and then the song thunders into pandimonium. There�s is some awesome riffing from Marek. He plays the riff with distortion and then clean picks it before heading back into chaos. Then the band heads into another breakdown which kind of reminds me of early Korn. Don�t be deterred by that though. This songs excels in all aspects and is the most emotion song coming where the eratic songwriting style evokes a kind of sadness.
Five Star are not a overly serious band either. And Subtle Breach Of Bliss shows this well. It�s weird, probably my least favourite track but by no means a bad song. It�s good for a laugh with Glynn doing fingersnaps during the swingy verse and some jazzy guitar and basswork counterbalancing the heavier aspects of the song. Another flaw of this is the repetitiveness of some of the riffs. Although the riffs are good, they seem to drag out too long in this song. I think the band were going for a doomier feel to this. May work for some but the effect didn�t last long enough for me personally.
Next up is Failed Garrison and if you ever get the chance to hear Five Star hopefully it�s this song. It�s probably the most accessible even with the blast beating that has returned. The riffs are catchier but song really shines after the second chorus. Glynn�s screaming compliments the extreme riffing. Five Star seem to follow their structure with having a sections of quiet and then explosive distortion. It works well even though it is nothing new.
Cola is another amusing song but a lot more diverse but not as quirky as Subtle Breach Of Bliss. IMO it�s way better and the fast tempo is unrelenting. As the title suggests, the song is about the product cola. The lyrics are good albeit strange � which is a good thing. This song has my favourite line on the album (� Chide Cola � for it rots the teeth we know�). The music itself reminds me of what SOAD would do except these guys are in more control of the music and Glynn is a much better vocalist than Serj.
Dissipated Moments is short filler; more of an opening for Dead Air with some tribal drums and Glynn chanting something that�s definitely not English. As soon as it finishes Dead Air blasts in with some distorted guitar chords building up to the section of the song where it�s reminiscent of Dillinger Escape Plan. The whole song basically revolves around one riff and variations of it. It�s a decent heavy track with some good drumming skills shown by Whitworth. Glynn also showcases adept skill in screaming. His voice is so diverse it�s hard to tell if it�s the same person. Good stuff.
Lastly we have The Minus Song. The first half is very laid back lounge style and something SOAD would also do. Some jazzy sections are a nice additions and Cam showcases his bass skills and basslines are really nice in this song, probably the best on the album. But the second half is chaotic � very over the top which I like. A bit of stop start dynamics never hurt anyone and this album finishes with a definite bang.
Okay here�s my track by track scores but I don�t think they really give them any justice, you just have to listen to them yourself. Well worth it if you can find copy especially outside Australia.
1. The Imparting of Wisdom Upon a Subject Turned to Stone 8/10
2. Vexed (For Reasons Torn) 8.5/10
3. Sequels to an Aftermath 8/10
4. Ballad Of The Cheated 9.5/10
5. Subtle Breach Of Bliss 6.5/10
6. Failed Garrison 8.5/10
7. Cola 8/10
8. Dissipated Moments (filler)
9. Dead Air 7/10
10. The Minus Song 8/10
-Doesn�t conform to normal music conventions. The music is challenging and pushes boundaries, which is what making music is all about.
-They treat music as an art form rather than a product.
-Show excellent musicianship from all musicians.
-They don�t restrict themselves, giving the music an exciting unpredictable aspect.
-Definitely doesn�t appeal to the mainstream which I suppose isn�t a bad thing.
-Can be repetitive in sections
This album makes me proud to be a Melbournian. They also kick ass live. Here is the current line up
Adam Glynn: Voice
Marek Holain: Guitars
Marc Whitworth: Drums
Cameron MacDonald: Bass