Narrows
Painted


4.5
superb

Review

by I Am The Sputnikker USER (12 Reviews)
March 4th, 2012 | 23 replies | 2,314 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Narrows and Dave Verellen continue being impressive under the radar.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

With the passing of a band with a cult status like that of Botch, it is easy to presume that the band’s following projects will serve to either add to the cult-like following or erase it completely. In a case of the Daves, ex-Botch guitarist Dave Knudsen has taken path number one, with Minus the Bear going on to achieve relative success opening for bands such as Soundgarden and releasing 4 full lengths since 2002. For Dave Verellen, on the other hand, success has been less noteworthy, remaining relatively quiet until the birth of Narrows in 2008. While Verellen is likely to be the most distinguishable member of the band, rounding out the quintet is Sam Stothers on drums (of Makeout Boys), Tropics guitarist Jodie Cox, These Arms are Snakes guitarist Ryan Frederiksen, and Unbroken bassist Rob Moran. While the word “supergroup” comes to mind, this band is much more reminiscent of the recent film portrayal of Moneyball, thematically describing a winning team from an island of undervalued or misfit toys.

Fortunately for the men in Narrows, their work in Painted reads less like an attempt to mirror previous works and more like a self-defining album. While Verellen’s vocals are just as scathing and fantastic as his work in Botch, Narrows are more than a Botch clone. From the first track “Under the Guillotine,” there is a foreboding, Jaws-type feeling that never fully resolves itself. Gone are the climactic breakdowns and the defining organic metalcore formula that Botch had helped define. The songs evolve from driving grooves and slowly crescendo in ways that never come to fruition in a predictable manner. The beauty of Narrows is that the success of the previous bands only shows through in the ability to create tension, uneasiness, and anxiety in the listener.

While songs like “Greenland” may immediately recall thematic similarities between “Swimming the Channel Vs. Driving the Chunnel,” it is clear that the overall composition is much more abstract and melancholy. The complete disregard for doing what is expected from the listener is what makes this album so compelling. The music never remains stagnant within the short track lengths and the minor tonality never fully allows the listener to relax.

Between the sludgy qualities of the bass, the grooviness of the rhythm section and the intensity of Verellen’s vocals, the high frequency lead guitar lines still have room to develop a hectic atmosphere. The band takes what is the chaotic nature of the above elements and tames it into an aurally restrained despair that is truly something to behold. The integration of post-metal and sludge type musicianship throughout the album but specifically in “Final Mass” and the aforementioned “Greenland” sound like songs of an apocalypse. The power, energy, and tonal variation is still relevant and showcased, but is used much more experimentally, with songs drifting in and out of angry hardcore build-ups and Satellite-era Hopesfall post-metal drifts into different tonal dimensions.

Simply put, if you are looking for relentless, unbound metalcore like that in Botch’s We Are the Romans, the only thing that will connect you to this album is Verellen’s vocals. This music harnesses a sense of urgency, deliberation, and contrast that continues to define the metalcore genre. There are no obvious lines, passages, breakdowns, or clichés on this album, just an ongoing and foreboding sense of urgency. Painted is a brilliantly layered album that demands your attention from start to finish.



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user ratings (120)
Chart.
3.6
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other reviews of this album
Eli EMERITUS (4)
An album that can and should boost Narrows up to the heights they so rightfully deserve....


Comments:Add a Comment 
xandermander
March 3rd 2012



626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Please bombard me with comments about being gay, Botch worship, prostate stimulation, etc. You think you're being witty but I might just have a homoerotic/masochistic fetish so the joke's on you.

TheSpirit
March 3rd 2012



17137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah this is good

Digging: Monarch - Sabbracadaver

Relinquished
March 3rd 2012



24407 Comments


so good

xandermander
March 3rd 2012



626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'll assume you are speaking of my review and say thank you.

keyboardxmosh
March 3rd 2012



1007 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Fanboy review.

xandermander
March 3rd 2012



626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

2.5, really? Did you recently receive blunt trauma to the head?

pmmets07
March 3rd 2012



5844 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hell yeah just downloaded this yesterday. great review. gonna listen now

Relinquished
March 3rd 2012



24407 Comments


haha xander

xandermander
March 3rd 2012



626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You won't be disappointed. The more listens you get outta this, the more you'll enjoy it.

wacknizzle
March 3rd 2012



12600 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just got this and it's pretty sweet. I like it more than old narrows.

Digging: Burrow - The Collapse of Time

artificialbox
March 3rd 2012



628 Comments


Hmm... sounds like this is right up my alley. Good review, I'll have to check this out asap

FearThyEvil
March 3rd 2012



12204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album art is ugly as shit though.

xandermander
March 3rd 2012



626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The good thing about the album art is that it doesn't make sound. So you'll be fine.

cvlts
March 3rd 2012



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

a little bland but extremely heavy

FearThyEvil
March 3rd 2012



12204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The good thing about the album art is that it doesn't make sound. So you'll be fine.

Never said it would take anything from the album. Just isn't good looking.

snerefedsav
March 3rd 2012



806 Comments


face paint is sick

Xenophanes
Emeritus
March 3rd 2012



10585 Comments


Damn was actually going to post a review of this tonight : /

Digging: United Nations - The Next Four Years

Xenophanes
Emeritus
March 3rd 2012



10585 Comments


this band is much more reminiscent of the recent film portrayal of Moneyball, thematically describing a winning team from an island of undervalued or misfit toys.


Errr...Moneyball (which needs to be in italics btw) was the baseball movie with Brad Pitt, not the Rudolph Christmas movie. It's cool I get them mixed up all of the time too.

xandermander
March 3rd 2012



626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Have you read Moneyball? Or seen it? Or am I terrible at detecting sarcasm?

Scoot
March 3rd 2012



17677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

slays

Digging: Unjust - Glow



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