Last Chance to Reason
Level 2


3.5
great

Review

by Andrew Gold CONTRIBUTOR (74 Reviews)
April 4th, 2013 | 27 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The eclectic offspring of Between the Buried and Me, Cynic, and The Contortionist.

If you ever wondered what if would be like if Between the Buried and Me, Cynic, and The Contortionist somehow had a baby as a result of a really gross threeway (actually more like a 12-way…), Last Chance to Reason is your answer. They combine the spastic refusing-to-play-the-same-riff-more-than-20-seconds style akin to The Silent Circus-era BtBaM, plus the robotic Cynic cleans and an overall deathcore feel similar to that of The Contortionist. Intrinsic is a reasonable comparison especially in the softer sections, but the difference is Last Chance to Reason make it sound natural, and more importantly, like they're having fun. Usually as farfetched as their ideas are, they never feel out of place or forced, and thankfully so, because this eclectic mixed bag of a songwriting approach works for them… for the most part.

Their second release Level 2 is a concept album about the relationship between man and technology. The few glimpses of the lyrics I caught during my listening were not very good and the song titles are asinine, but thankfully for them the focus is almost entirely on the music itself. There’s a lingering video game influence on the album, with some songs sounding dangerously similar to what you would hear on a trippy Atari game. At times it’s pulled off really well, other times not so much, but listening to this album is a pretty apt interpretation of the aural equivalent to a video game, and for that they deserve kudos.

As you can imagine their instrumental proficiency is excellent – hell, being comparable to Between the Buried and Me on any level is a huge compliment to their playing skills. The guitar and keyboard work in particular is incredible, but the most honorable mention here goes to vocalist Michael Lessard. The man can do it all – sing, growl, screech, and he knows when to know each one tastefully, often overlapping growls under robotic cleans for an eerily dark effect. Bassist Chris Corey is a powerhouse of his own, often having little solos to connect two sections or simply playing a melodic counterpoint to the guitars. The drums are no joke either, and by putting all these brilliant musicians in one band nothing could possibly go wrong, right?

Well, not exactly. Sometimes the spastic songwriting is a bit too much, especially the stop-start sections in ‘Coded to Fail’ which makes it sound like the audio is glitched and it gets downright annoying to listen to. Also the clean vocals in general aren’t anything special. Michael is an excellent harsh vocalist but has a very limited singing range, even with all the effects covering his pitch-issues. That’s about as far as I can go into negatives. Most experiments on Level 2 work, surprisingly well actually. ‘Upload Complete’ opens up the album with thriving ambition and aptly prepares the listener for the clusterfuck they’re about to experience, on top of having the best breakdown on the album. ‘Programmed for Battle’ is the best example of the pure ridiculousness of their ideas being melded together perfectly, and ‘Taking Control’ is a minute-and-a-half long progressive Cynic-like trance, driven by a beautiful bass line and futuristic keyboard effects. As a whole, Level 2 succeeds more than not. Although I wouldn’t put them above any of their [perhaps too obvious] influences, they’re definitely a forced to be reckoned with in the prog metal world.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 4th 2013


21815 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Recommended Tracks: Upload Complete, Taking Control, Programmed for Battle, Portal, The Linear

been meaning to review this for a while.

Digging: Todd Terje - It's Album Time

Pestiferous
April 4th 2013


1343 Comments


ugh all these .7's .2's .4's i wanna increment rate but how????????

oltnabrick
April 4th 2013


31573 Comments


album is terrible but ye

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 4th 2013


21815 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

im sure you can figure it out pest ;)

awesome dig btw

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 4th 2013


21815 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

well the first step to rating in .1 increments is listening to pest's dig. i figured that was a given

Scoot
April 4th 2013


17914 Comments


Their instrumental proficiency is undoubtedly excellent

wow

Digging: Renounced - The Melancholy We Ache

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 4th 2013


21815 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it is. whats the problem?

Scoot
April 4th 2013


17914 Comments


there's just so much oh man too much pretentiousness it hurts

Pestiferous
April 4th 2013


1343 Comments


seriously guys listen to it i mean it actually is gud dont be fooled by that artwork that's uhhh bootlegged yeah

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 4th 2013


21815 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

dam scoot if you think that's pretentious then you would reeeally hate this album

Scoot
April 4th 2013


17914 Comments


i listened to some of it a while back and it was nothing special

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 4th 2013


21815 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

there are plenty of better prog metal bands but these guys are pretty damn solid imo

they're pretty spot on live too

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
April 4th 2013


10383 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

These guys take the fun BTBAM sometimes shows, and exemplifies it to the nth degree here.

Good review, man. I don't think this should be compared to Intrinsic, though, seeing as that album was all about sweeping atmosphere and this emphasizes instrumental proficiency. Just my two cents.

Digging: Thou - Heathen

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 4th 2013


21815 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

you're right, i just meant relatively the same descriptors could be used for both (cynic-esque parts, disjointed songwriting, etc). this is definitely heavier and more technical than intrinsic

shepaintedfire
April 4th 2013


63 Comments


Album is good honestly, think they are one of the most solid bands in the genre. Good review, too.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
April 4th 2013


7127 Comments


You're developing quite the niche with your reviews Ins, nice work.

bloc
April 4th 2013


35024 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I would think you'd like this more, hitman.

CaptainDooRight
April 4th 2013


30334 Comments


terrible but pos

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 4th 2013


21815 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i wanted to like it more but something doesnt quite come together for me. id take btbam, pth, or pretty much any one of the "big" prog metal bands over them any day.

still really enjoy it though

Spec
May 3rd 2013


27298 Comments


I wanted this to be good. But its awful.



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