Review Summary: An album that can and should boost Narrows up to the heights they so rightfully deserve.
There are at least two constants with metalcore band, Narrows, of which have been both detrimental and exceptional towards the group’s success. The first constant is the egregious ties to the legacy of Botch. Yes, while being tied to such a legendary band has its perks, it’s created a looming shadow over the fledgling band; a shadow of large expectations that gives the men of Narrows some rather large shoes to fill. Sharing vocalist Dave Verellen has certainly drawn a decent amount of attention, but even his presence pales to the second constant: Narrows consistently make some of the most captivating music in the genre today.
, for all intents and purposes, will go largely unnoticed by the musical listening populace. While the genre’s heavy-weights hog the spotlight with familiar riffs and screams, Narrows shy away and produce their own brand of metalcore, with spectacular results. In all actuality, the band does share a fair amount with Botch, as meticulously structured songwriting and dense atmospheres take precedence over sheer sonic assault. That isn’t to say that Painted
is not a heavy album, not in the least. Songs such as “TB Positive,” and “Final Mass” are short oppressive burst of enveloping chaos, as Verellen’s low hollers match the sludgy bass and chugging guitar lines perfectly. But rather than plow their way through the record’s eight songs, Narrows spice things up with a more textured comportment. “Greenland,” the album’s longest track, bisects the album as a massive and ambiguous entity that effectively acts as a “slow cooker.” Filled with bizarre sounds and anguished screams, the songs takes its time building up to an explosive and cathartic finish. While its inclusion initially seems odd, it acts as a somewhat beautiful reprieve from the madness and cacophony that fills the rest of the album.
Narrows have crafted another impressive recording that displays their musical prowess, as well as promise. Within its 26 minutes lies an amicable amount of intensity, passion, and palpable creativity, portraying a fresh sound that absolutely begs to be heard.