Envy
A Dead Sinking Story


4.5
superb

Review

by superfascist USER (12 Reviews)
December 29th, 2005 | 155 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


There’s something special about Envy; something so profound and insightful that it surpasses all orthodoxy, transcending all stereotypes, and forges its place as a rare gem. Nothing about Envy is conventional, and with that being said, it’s hard to place them in any specific genre (screamo seems to be the preferred stereotype). Envy's 2003 epic release, A Dead Sinking Story, widens the gap of convention with its intriguing stylistic diversity, raw, emotive vocals, and its ability to create entrap its listener into a subduing atmosphere lulling him into the brilliance that is Envy.

The album begins with an ominously ambling guitar piece. At about thirty-two seconds into the track, the emotionally heavy wall of sound hits hard, and the singer, Tetsuya Fukagawa, assaults the listener with his unique vocal styling. Contrary to many screamers in the hardcore or screamo scene, Tetsuya’s voice is a powerful, emotional instrument. Even as the lyrics of A Dead Sinking Story are entirely in Japanese, Tetsuya’s harsh vocals transcend language, and all his raw emotion is conveyed to the listener.

The introductory track, “Chain Wandering Deeply”, is a prime example of Envy’s ability to manipulate song dynamics in order to heighten the emotional output. During the eight minutes of the song, the pace moves from slow and quiet, to a faster, heavier, more emotionally driven segment, back down to a simple yet efficient guitar piece, back to the heavy, emotional segment, and ultimately ending in a smooth, entrancing flow of guitar, bass, and drums. Even here, the song does not actually end, but merely segues into the next track.

A Dead Sinking Story is not an album that can easily be sifted through to find desired tracks. In order to fully enjoy and appreciate this album, it needs to be listened to in its entirety – including the two ambient tracks. In this sense, I’ve always thought of this album in much the same way I think of Japanese cinema – slow-paced and atmospheric, building up a general mood, and once all anticipation has been heightened to the maximum extent, it strikes in all its climatic brilliancy. The most clearly illustrated example of this in a single song is in “A Will Remains in the Ashes”, a twelve minute epic, with most of the song being slow, jazzy, and repetitive, building up all its pure emotion, and finally striking with its heavy guitar and harshly beautiful vocals.

Despite any musical accomplishments made in A Dead Sinking Story, Envy will not be easily accepted by all listeners – even those who are fans of the general genre. First and foremost, most people will automatically be turned off by the constant screaming. Even as fitting and appropriate as it may seem, Tetsuya’s pure harshness can be overwhelming. And even for those who are fans of this vocal styling, the fact that everything on the album is sung in Japanese may prove to be a nuisance, since it makes it all but impossible for an English speaker to understand, and scream along to. And even then, if the Japanese lyrics aren’t too much of a burden, many people could see A Dead Sinking Story as too emotional – and it is. In fact, the overall emotive tone of the albums is primarily what makes it so epic.

Finally, Envy’s musical simplicity may make it difficult for some genre elitists to overcome. It’s true; Envy utilizes the same basic formula for each of its songs on A Dead Sinking Story. The vocals seem ever unchanging, with an emotive, monotone scream here, a brief pause, and repetition for what can be up to several minutes. In addition, the guitar parts often follow the same technique, as shown in such songs as “Chain Wandering Deeply”, “Unrepairable Gentleness”, and “A Will Remains in the Ashes”. A simple riff is continuously played to the point of exhaustion, and finally followed up with another simple riff, which is also repeated.

Despite any potential criticisms, any person who thinks he or she may be interested in Envy should give A Dead Sinking Story a listen. In my case, it opened me up to a whole new musical genre and way of thinking entirely. No longer did I think of “loud bands” as noise, but something meaningful, something beautiful, and yet something so painfully emotional and raw. A Dead Sinking Story is a perfect example of what Envy is capable of doing musically, and is arguably their greatest achievement to date.

If I were to rate this album based on my own preference and personal bias, it would receive a perfect rating, but for the sake of objectivity, all aforementioned criticisms are taken into consideration, and this album is a 4.5 / 5



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user ratings (508)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
superfascist
December 30th 2005


118 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks guys. I tried my best to review such a great album, and to finally get Envy some recognition in these forums.

Arrakakaka
December 30th 2005


685 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh my balls, this was your first!? Keep reviewing man, you are superb man.

Jawaharal
December 30th 2005


1832 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I like this band.

cbmartinez
December 30th 2005


2525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think I'm going to review this because I feel so strong about the album. You really nailed it with this review though. It is so deserving of a 4.5, it is so epic and beautiful. The part in "Chain Wandering Deeply" where they first go to that clean riff with the bass underneath honestly brings tears to my eyes. It's so amazing. The last track is really incredible too.

Great work.

santi3hg
December 30th 2005


440 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

wow amazing review especially for first!
as great sounding as this bands sounds from you rdescription im checking them out.

santi3hg
January 24th 2006


440 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

amazing album!

whiteminority
January 27th 2006


74 Comments


Envy owns me... and I love it. :thumb: great review.

Jawaharal
February 4th 2006


1832 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've been digging this alot lately.

The_shotgun_message
February 12th 2006


29 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I love this cd.

The_shotgun_message
February 12th 2006


29 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I love this cd, one thing tho, u didnt mention that there actually is singing and spoken word on this cd, not just screaming which adds a lot to its atmosphere anyways really good review, and woops didnt mean to double postThis Message Edited On 02.12.06

Riley12988
April 8th 2006


109 Comments


Wow. This is good. Way too good to be so simple.

obese_breasts
April 16th 2006


7 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Amazing albums and very good review.

Justanothernimrod
August 28th 2006


478 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

gave this album it's first proper lsiten just now, and it's very good!

some of the "rockier" moments remind me of Biffy Clyro, and the last song, of Mono.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
November 29th 2006


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This album is soo good. "A will remains in the ashes" is spectacular.

Eliminator
January 1st 2007


2067 Comments


Awesome album.

The Jungler
April 23rd 2007


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

A few tracks drag a bit, and some of it sounds similar but pretty awesome album all the same.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
June 8th 2007


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I have fallen back in love with this album.

cbmartinez
June 9th 2007


2525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Same, been listening to it a lot lately

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
August 2nd 2007


3772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I pretty much agree totally with this review - the negatives included, hence the rating. Still, when Envy gets it right, they get it right. Chain Wandering Deeply is an amazing song.This Message Edited On 08.02.07

Digging: The Flaming Lips - With A Little Help From My Fwends

iamrockzorz
August 7th 2007


1029 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've just realized recently how much i truly love this cd. The drums are amazing, the atmosphere, the vocals. shit, its amazing.



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