Art By Numbers
Reticence: The Musical


3.5
great

Review

by ryunocore USER (3 Reviews)
May 22nd, 2012 | 81 replies | 18,499 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Not without imperfections, an impressive first effort regardless.

13 of 13 thought this review was well written

Every single day a new band comes out of nowhere with a half-baked bunch of recycled riffs, inaudible bass, out-of-the-box Superior Drummer 2.0 and a guy screaming on top of everything. We got used to this phenomenon due to the several years of the MySpace reign, rest in piece, the golden years of "anyone can be a musician on the Internet", metal/hardcore style. Disregard self-produced electro music on a pirated copy of FL Studio, it was all about Pod Farm down-tuned chugging from that point on. Because bands like that became an overwhelming majority, I believe we should take time to appreciate the few of the modern musicians who can actually, well, play.

Which happens to be the case here.

When Art By Numbers released "Twelve Days" on Facebook, I was absolutely hyped: my ears were filled with well-structured guitar lines inspired by classical/baroque music that didn't rely on absurd amounts of overdubbing and layering to "fill" the audio spectrum, a bass player that was not only listenable but was not afraid of showing he could bring something to the table without having to indulge in sloppy tremolo picking (a flaw several bass players from big bands in metal still have to overcome, because you either track tight or leave that job to someone else), programmed drums but definitely not horrible stock unequalized samples and blending very well in the mix and the most important part, a singing vocalist whose voice can be easily compared to a mythological siren’s: one moment you are listening to the lyrics sung by the innocent, almost boyish Anthony James and the next moment your ship is going straight for Sirenum Scopuli and you don’t even care because of how absurdly mesmerized you are. All of these attributes are present everywhere in the album.

Unfortunately, I cannot say the album shares most of the other positive qualities of that track: while all of the songs present challenging riffs that make you wonder why aren’t most of the other seven thousand bands playing in Drop C tuning even trying in comparison, several of them have song structures that feel incomplete and the overall lack of dynamics (partial blame on the mastering brickwalling, the other part being the final arrangement of Dustin Georgeson’s songwriting) and little variation in the vocals lead to giving the otherwise incredible musical pieces a rather monotone pace. For an album with a title referencing musicals and lyrics that pass the impression of inner turmoil-fueled Rock Opera, there are several things that could have been learned from these “genres”.

Even though there are some flaws, Reticence: The Musical is still nothing short of amazing for a debut: guitar and bass tones are more than pleasant albeit far from your bread and butter Metalcore standard; the waltz, mathcore, tango, nu metal, polka, dance music, post-hardcore, jazz, post-rock, death and modern progressive metal references from the band’s musical knowledge pool are played with in a very tasteful manner as are the chord progressions in songs such as Panacea, one of the album’s highlights; whenever there is some variation in the vocals, Anthony does a fantastic job from the smallest addition of effort to an incredibly well defined scream that, to be honest, I would not have minded listening to at all even if it was for the whole album (ironic, considering it’s not unusual to find screamers you’d rather not listen to at all); tasty riffing with arpeggios everywhere, obviously meant to appeal to those who studied in music conservatories but catchy enough for the listener who is looking for fast neoclassical playing with a couple piano/synthesizer licks completing the portrait the band was aiming to paint.

Was this all I expected from them? No. Would I recommend it? Yes, definitely: to even think a band could put out something of this level as a first work is mind-blowing to me. Saying it is an "okay job" would be an understatement so big it would border on "misunderstanding". There is no denying they have talent, know how to write high-energy sections and clearly planned the structure of the guitar riffs considering live performances (a mistake the members of Protest the Hero admit they committed in their first album, Kezia); now it’s only a matter of waiting until this fruit ripens and once it does this band will climb from “impressive” to “personal favorite” in no time. This one has a little of everything: it has enough pop appeal for the Hot Topic girls, it has enough tricky leads for basement-dweller guitarists like yours truly and it should be metal enough for everyone of us.

Recommended tracks: Panacea, Reyes, Twelve Days


user ratings (202)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Elite323 (5)
Art By Number's first release is a sure success with it's radiant and technical use of melodic vocal...

Grimbold (4)
Art By Numbers is melodic prog that is very appealing to the average ear!...

DarkMessengerVI (3.5)
Art By Numbers make a good first impression....

TheAbsentOne (5)
"Reticence: The Musical" is a progressive metal masterpiece that combines elements of not only progr...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Irving
Staff Reviewer
May 22nd 2012



7133 Comments


My mind is blown by the fact that Malice Mizer is a recommended listen.

Storm In A Teacup
May 22nd 2012



12687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol foxxxy you're silly

endorphin
May 22nd 2012



179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

they keep reminding me of in fear and faith but i don't know why

Recspecs
May 22nd 2012



9817 Comments


Lol this album had like 30 reviews up in a two hour span fuck that.

bloc
May 22nd 2012



34649 Comments


I count 3.

I couldn't get into this at all. It wasn't even the vocals, but the music sounded like it came out of a "30 exercises to teach you to shred" book.

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

endorphin
May 23rd 2012



179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yes, the john petrucci influence is overwhelmingly evident

phcusf
May 23rd 2012



67 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I like the Vocals and the piano

ryunocore
May 24th 2012



20 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I honestly believe MALICE MIZER should be an obligatory listen to anyone who even faintly approves of the existence of lead guitar parts.

LG
May 24th 2012



3049 Comments


this is cool

Azn.
May 24th 2012



5554 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pretty damn good review, will check this out. Here, have a pos.

Digging: How to Dress Well - What Is This Heart?

phcusf
May 24th 2012



67 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

A good start for a first album.
The piano and the vocals are impressive.
But the Guitar work can be annoying like the solo at the end of "The Man Behind the box".
Grrr...
Reminds me of Pinkly Smooth :D


SmokingTheClouds
May 25th 2012



639 Comments


THA logo: http://www.babieseater.net/images/stories/logoi/the-human-abstract-logo.png

ABN logo: http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/540420_10150806902522915_199156967914_11469403_601793403_n.jpg



SmokingTheClouds
May 25th 2012



639 Comments


I always saw THA as more of a grunge-brushed feather. But my emphasis was more on the lettering itself, as it's the same. The stemming detail is just close in resemblance as well.

ryunocore
May 25th 2012



20 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

SmokingTheClouds the bands share a manager and an audio engineer, so to assume the artwork for both came from the same guy (or someone brought in specifically because of the similar style) wouldn't be as much of a stretch as it would be more of an educated guess.

MeatSalad
May 25th 2012



14084 Comments


Sigh guess I have to give this a listen

Digging: Love - Forever Changes

MeatSalad
May 25th 2012



14084 Comments


If I could fucking find it, holy shit what happened to mediafire

ryunocore
May 25th 2012



20 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/blog/?p=10075

stream it here, buddy.

MeatSalad
May 25th 2012



14084 Comments


Yeah, guess that works too. Thanks brometheus

MichaelSnoxall
May 25th 2012



12163 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Don't do it, MeatSalad! It's not worth the time! THINK OF THE PRECIOUS TIME!!

MeatSalad
May 25th 2012



14084 Comments


I still haven't, there's still time left



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