Review Summary: Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster produce what could be an unexpected addition to many year-end lists.
Every year, there seem to be a few bands that manage to come from out of nowhere and make a name for themselves. Some burst onto the scene and demand attention; others aren’t as electrifying. At first glance, there isn’t much that separates Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster
from the thousands of other hopeful progressive/post-metal groups trying desperately to stand out in the world of underground music. The extravagant band name, the picture of a nebula on the album cover, the complex song titles – they’re all here. To be frank, it’s easy to see them coming off as “just another Isis
ripoff” to a casual observer. In this case, however, there’s more depth than meets the eye. Exegesis
is an impressive effort from a young band that is beginning to find its own niche, taking the traditional post-metal sound and adding new innovations.
There is an overlapping ominous theme that connects each song with the one before it, creating a chain of powerful songwriting. While much of the music is instrumental, the sections that contain vocals are especially noteworthy; vocalist Dylan Foucher alternates using a throaty yell and a soft croon whenever the song necessitates it. Both guitarists display an impressive array of riffs, ranging from Tool
-esque chugging to dissonant melodic leads that intertwine wonderfully with the backing music. The title track, arguably the album's finest, is the best example of what Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster brings to the table. Over the course of several minutes, the lumbering song blossoms from a simple clean melody to a massive wall of sound, climaxing in a final minute that can only be described as awe-inspiring.
While the group's influences are absolutely crystal clear, they do an admirable job of trying to branch out and create their own sound. Fans of Tool should find many things to love about this album, as the band borrows much of what made Lateralus
so universally praised. However, the song structures are much more similar to bands like Pelican
in their ebbs and flows. Though there are still some lulls in the songs (which are eight minutes on average), a young band can generally eliminate filler as they grow as songwriters. Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster have done their part in creating one of the more surprisingly solid albums of the year and a possible candidate for many year-end lists to come. All they can do now is hope that they don’t fade into anonymity like so many other hopefuls before them.