A Life Once Lost
Ecstatic Trance


2.5
average

Review

by NastyCrab USER (1 Reviews)
October 27th, 2012 | 17 replies | 3,962 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “The rhythm is enough to drive you mad”

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

In 2010, three years after the Philadelphia metalcore group ALOL’s mostly unpopular release Iron Gag, the band released the track “Expression of Hate” over the internet. The pre-production demo track featured many of the trademarks that made the band’s earlier releases so popular: Bob Meadows’ signature harsh growls, memorable mathy riffs, and low-tuned air tight grooves that you couldn’t help but bob your head to. It was a natural return to form for a group that many had criticized for abandoning the elements that had defined prior albums A Great Artist and Hunter. This teaser seemed to hint at an album that would feel a more like a true follow-up to 2005's Hunter.

However this album takes off in an entirely different direction. What you can expect on Ecstatic Trance is much of what the title might suggest. The guitar parts tend to stick to repetitive riffing and the simple drum patterns imprint the beat onto the song in a manner that is almost trance-like at times. This new style of composition seems much more reminiscent of Meshuggah and much less like Lamb of God, both bands considered to be ALOL’s major stylistic influences. Hovering over the droning rhythm section, the lead guitar serves to provide atmosphere within a track then often bursting into soaring solos at predictable times during a track. Some of the lead parts do well to define a track (Gnawing Lisp) while others come across as seemingly uninspired and ill-fitting additions (Madness is God). It is also worth noting that the drums suffer from a severe lack of any sort of dynamic and more often feel inadequate rather than stylistically appropriate for the repetitious nature of most of the songs. To be certain, a strength of the album is found in vocalist Bob Meadows, whose progression shows as a broader range of vocal techniques is showcased here than in previous albums.

After a few listens, the overall product feels much less thorough than one might expect after a five-year wait. A Great Artist and Hunter worked because they appealed to enthusiasts of both groove metal and math metal by synthesizing the nuances of both. This album fails to incorporate the elements of either effectively while simultaneously trying to incorporate new influences into some truly uninteresting songs. No one track particularly stands out against the rest and I found myself getting tired of some tracks before I had even finished listening to them.

I can’t help but find myself wondering what happened between 2010 and now. What became of the material the band was so hard at work on in the years following Iron Gag and why was it all put away in favor of this instead?
Regardless, I would recommend this album to anyone who was a fan of other albums if only for a single listen through to see how they’ve changed. If you're new to the band check out their back catalogue instead.


user ratings (61)
Chart.
3.1
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Comments:Add a Comment 
NastyCrab
October 26th 2012



328 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

First review! I figured here would be as good a place to start as any seeing as this album is review-less
Please lather on the criticism, I haven't written anything in a while and am new to this so any feedback is appreciated.

DropdeadWHA
October 27th 2012



569 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Haven't liked any of their other albums. Thought this was pretty good, except all the tracks kinda blend into each other.

Wizard
October 27th 2012



19206 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Good first review. These are my thoughts on this:

"I remember when I used to listen to nu-metal back in the day. Then it turned into second-tier "okayness". Then it turned into Linkin Park. Then it turned into this."

Digging: Merzbow - Dust of Dreams

cagedescending
October 27th 2012



4124 Comments


the video for Vulture was badass

Wizard
October 28th 2012



19206 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Trust me silent, you're 14 year old self will hate yourself for listening.

And why would the reviewer recommend King Crimson?

NastyCrab
October 28th 2012



328 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

http://www.decibelmagazine.com/featured/decibrity-playlist-a-life-once-lost
I wanted to include at least one album from this list. This interview sheds some light on some of their influences for Esctatic Trance. Might not sound much the same, but it's an awesome record and you can kinda see what ALOL was trying to pull from.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 28th 2012



15694 Comments


You used And after a full stop.

"The album can’t quite pull off what it seems to want its listener to experience. "
Could be phrased better.

"As a fan of this group myself"
Shouldn't really put that in a review as it implies bias (even though you might be trying to be objective)

Really great first review tho, pos'd for sure.

Digging: Synaesthesia (UK) - Synaesthesia

NastyCrab
October 28th 2012



328 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Edited. Also bumped down to a 2.5 because reasons.

ianjulian
November 2nd 2012



620 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

mmmmmmmmmmm

OnFireAlive
November 16th 2012



27 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album. I think it has a very high replay value.
The only downside I find in it is the repetitive song structures, but the atmosphere compensated for it. The previous albums were super technical and groovy, and yes, they do appeal to groove and math-metal fans; But I feel like I related to this album from a whole different place: A place of feel, of drowning inside the music.

asaf
November 16th 2012



885 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"much more reminiscent of meshuggah..."

there's nothing meshuggah like about this album. it down right sucks. I've been a fan for years and maybe it's just the passing of time, but so many bands do this shit waaaay better than they do. AGA was good for what it was, great actually, but this is just a straight up disappointment. it's got no fukn balls! the album is all vagina.

have a pos


Digging: Heart To Heart - Dulce

thewired
December 8th 2012



48 Comments


pretty chill album, enjoyable guitar leads

aqualungcancer
December 23rd 2012



573 Comments


Honest question here bois, how can you stand the new sound of ALOL? I love their debut album and EP that came after that, but nothing past A Great Artist, and I think even that was pretty bad.

Churuya
February 1st 2013



4 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This shit is hypnotic. No real standout tracks, just one album-long groove.

Imperial
August 25th 2013



1719 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is good.

suppatime
October 5th 2013



431 Comments


yeah i thought this album was dope. it's a shame they broke up but i'm glad i got to see em live

jmh886
January 20th 2014



788 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Def some very cool grooves on here. Particularly Empty Form and People Stare.



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