Gatling
Beforemath


4.5
superb

Review

by Adventurejimbob USER (2 Reviews)
May 6th, 2012 | 29 replies | 7,608 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Gatling's sophomore effort flaunts enhanced production quality, progressive metal influence and quality songwriting.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Henry Rollins, the frontman of punk group Black Flag once said, "I believe that one defines oneself by reinvention. To not be like your parents. To not be like your friends. To cut yourself out of stone." The process of rebirth is evident in the careers of many musicians and artists, in order to remain relevant. For many younger bands, though, this process of reinvention is necessary to find a niche, to cut a space between the influences of the past and the sonic dreams of the future. On Beforemath, Gatling's second album, the band experiences this same sort of sonic rebirth.

Discarding the influences of experimental and grindcore prevalent in their previous album, Hen in a Pumpkin, the young men of Gatling set out to make a pure progressive metal album, one reminiscent of one of their strongest influences, Opeth. With a new member, Elliot Slater, and studio production quality, Gatling's new sound is far removed from their previous works. The stage is set for something new, and the story behind this concept album also fits that theme well.

Set in the future, the general plotline consists of your traditional action-movie story, except with a few twists along the way. "Ten Forward," the first track on the album, starts off with a chase, followed by the capture, signaled by the heavier guitar line, of the protagonist. On his journey to a place between life and death, he is shaken, lamenting "I try to forget space and time" and mentioning the "brush with death" that led to his capture. The song progresses through the stages of the man's grief, with a surf rock influenced section symbolizing his gradual acceptance of reality, and the powerful, slow-building ending marking the formulation of his plan.

On the next few tracks, the area of Ten Forward is described as having a "lack of color and feeling" and being nothing more than "rows of headstones." As this progresses, the protagonist completes his plan for escape. A spectacular acoustic guitar section, followed by the proclamation of "Sunrise, morning light" shows new hope for our hero. Naturally, like any good action movie script, there is a turn of events. He pleads with the woman whom he was captured with to follow the plan, but she turns him in to the guards instead. His frustration is unleashed in a blistering guitar solo at the end of "Vertigo," one that makes you wonder why it isn't a common practice to relieve stress by playing guitar angrily- then again, if everyone could play guitar this well, I suppose it already would be established.

"Glass Room" is a track which the band should definitely put out as a single, if they intend to go that route. It is my second favorite song off of the album, telling the story of the protagonist waking up in a prison cell for his attempted escape, still in the "eyes of the dead." Masterful acoustic guitar playing, a beautiful solo, and, emotional lyrics put this piece near the top of my list. Despite the seemingly dreary situation, "On A Rail" starts with a very hopeful and upbeat riff. The positive atmosphere doesn't last long, however, as his second breakout attempt from Ten Forward leaves him confessing to the guards, admitting, "I've said everything that I've had to say."

We have just two songs left, and you're probably wondering- will he or won't he escape? Be patient, will you? "Absolute" is the story of what exactly happened to the rest of the people who helped him to try to escape the second time... they managed to make it out of Ten Forward! The protagonist, however, is bloodied in his escape attempt, locked in whatever solitary confinement consists of in the place between life and death. "Absolute," for one major reason, if not for the well-handled shifts in dynamics and tempo, is my favorite song from the album. Right after the heavy riffing and guitar solo, the instruments (except for a single acoustic guitar) fade away, leaving just the vocals. This, beyond any of the incredible instrumental prowess Gatling displays on Beforemath, and any of the other very strong tracks, is what you will remember most about this song and this album. These lyrics speak of desperation, the loss of friends, and carry the plot, three things lyrics hardly ever do in modern music: "And all the faces turn away, leaving me here... These thoughts swirling in my head, in my head... Sitting in a locked room, awaiting my demise, with nowhere to go but... away from here." What a moment for a band, when you consider that this is one of the first songs they've ever made with vocals.

The final escape and chapter of the journey is told on "What Lies Below"- cementing Gatling's influences in progressive metal, more than anything. A very technically proficient song, it tells the story of the successful escape attempt and the man's attempt to cope with his regained life. Much like Gatling, the hero has undergone quite a journey in a short amount of time, and come out the better for it. Just like all action movies, the album and this review shall end on a cliffhanger, leaving us all wondering: What will become of Gatling next?


user ratings (37)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Venpts16
May 5th 2012



283 Comments


Very well-written review! I love the explanation of the album's concept being tied together with the band's history, and also the musical style presented.

Kronzo
May 5th 2012



977 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

http://www.youtube.com/user/gatlingonline Here is the music :D

D41V30N
May 18th 2012



949 Comments


Vocalist ruins everything, in my opinion. The music is damn good.

LoneWanderer
May 18th 2012



180 Comments


"Beforemath"

How very clever...




Kronzo
May 22nd 2012



977 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

it is extremely clever!

Lambda
July 3rd 2012



2335 Comments


Clever indeed

Vakarian12
August 8th 2012



3576 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Vocals were a bit off putting at first, grown on me though. Great album.

Salmonella
August 12th 2012



7 Comments


Yeah man, got a favourite track?

Shiduba
September 17th 2012



424 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Vocals are a bit amateurish compared to the other instruments but as singing is hard as hell I tend to cut them some slack, at least they sound raw and not pitch corrected which I appreciate. Album is great, very pleasant to listen to.

Lambda
November 27th 2012



2335 Comments


Yeyeye

Yazz_Flute
December 16th 2012



18735 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oof the vocals are a bit odd.

Digging: Anekdoten - Vemod

Yazz_Flute
December 17th 2012



18735 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

On second thought, I'm beginning to enjoy them; they've got a definite emo tinge to them.

Lambda
December 18th 2012



2335 Comments


Glad that you're enjoying it Yazz : )

Cygnatti
December 18th 2012



20022 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I thought the production was great

Digging: Lo-Fang - Blue Film

Yazz_Flute
December 19th 2012



18735 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is quickly rising up my 2012 list.

Glass Room is excellent.

Lambda
December 26th 2012



2335 Comments


Are you gonna post a best of the year list, Yazz?

Yazz_Flute
December 26th 2012



18735 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah I probably will within the next week or so, I'm just taking some time to finalize it. This has probably been the strongest year of music since 2009 for me, but at the same time there hasn't been a clear AOTY and there are five or six albums I could see taking that spot.

ianjulian
December 26th 2012



611 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Masterful acoustic guitar playing, a beautiful solo

manicmonkey
March 4th 2013



446 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

vocals really turn me off

ShrillYell
March 8th 2013



171 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is kind of good, kind of bad. Settling with a bit more good than bad.



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