Locktender
Rodin


5.0
classic

Review

by J. Wagel USER (8 Reviews)
March 2nd, 2014 | 102 replies | 12,635 views


Release Date: 04/01/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One of the most artistically unique and impassioned affairs in recent memory.

9 of 9 thought this review was well written

1347 - Calais, France - Amidst the Hundred Years' War - King Edward III lays siege on the city and condemns the entire population to mass slaughter. As the fleeting hope for the civilians of Calais dissipates, Edward reluctantly agrees to spare the citizens if six of the most important members of the Calais society would come to him prepared to see the end of their lives. They marched, barefoot and void of head-covering to the King, bearing the ropes that would seal their fate.



Locktender (Ex - Men As Trees) is a hardcore influenced post-metal group, who bring a very strong sense of unique creativity as well as emotion to their music, focusing lyrically, (as well as thematically, and instrumentally) on works of acclaimed artists, painters, writers, and sculptors. Locktender's previous work saw them expertly diving into the Zarau Aphorisms of writer Franz Kafka. They have returned in dynamic fashion to elaborate musically on various works of sculptor Auguste Rodin, including his most famous piece The Thinker.

As truly intellectual as this album is, they do not for one moment stray from their roots. The raw emotion conveyed is unparalleled and insurmountably powerful. Each and every aspect of this record breathes with dynamic feeling. The writing is extremely moving with soaring guitars whirling energetic chords through the hair at lightning pace, cascading down into brooding and droning instances that entrance and encompass the listener, and then on to epic post-rock build ups that glue you to your seat in anticipation. The production is not glistening and shiny, but rather gritty and brittle. The frailty and crunch of the production aids in the cathartic nature of the record. The album is not void of all fault, but they are few and far between. Some of the clean vocals seem to be a little too muffled and filtered, and some of the guitar bleed-through can cloud the stereo field. Spare those few chance occasions, the artistic imperfections are null.

Vocalist Nick Yonce conveys their emotion and the despair of their music with his gruff harsh vocals. His delivery is blatantly unique, mixing aggressive and energetic mid-low scream/yells with crushing low growls as well as some cathartic hardcore-esque ranting. Andrew Kallicragas is an exceptional guitarist and while the style is not overly-technical, he utilizes a variety of technical skills to deliver various incredibly impassioned segments of music. On top of that he adds various clean vocal lines that compliment the chaos very well. Jason Kallicragas is equally as proficient on the bass guitar, and adds a beautifully executed layer to the harsh vocals with some very heavy and full vocal lines. The thing that really tops off the sound of Locktender is the man behind the kit. Frank Tedeschi again doesn't bring the most overly technical beats, but rather the most energetic and truly fitting percussion lines. Altogether, the 4 individuals come together in precisely the right way to convey such uplifting music with the perfect amount are energy and intellect.

The song that stands out the most would most definitely be "The Burghers of Calais". Clocking in at right around the 19-minute mark, this epic slab remains not only interesting and diverse, but atmospherically executed with a sense of perfection that is rarely found in music. The track begins with an eerie guitar line that haunts, and then the song continues on with its ebbs-and-flows swaying merrily (crushingly) throughout. Entangling simple post-rock aesthetic brilliantly with hardcore-influenced post-metal and a progressive tendency unlike any other. At one point in the track around the 14-miunte area, all instrumentation and vocals drop out aside from the drums, which carry on in a fashion indicative of marching. The drums are marching and leading the Calais sacrifices to King Edward III for execution. A solemn guitar hammering on notes comes in as the layers build to point where a seemingly schizophrenic man begins to talk/sing his way into a dichotomy with a yell the pleads "who will save them?" The amps feedback as the song fizzles to a touchingly beautiful guitar walks the song to its conclusion.

This group is one of the most unique and original groups to surface in modern music, and I would recommend this to anyone who likes anything post-rock/metal, hardcore, screamo, or progressive-rock related. In actuality though, i would recommend this to anyone in search of a piece of music with a unique sense of creativity, for its aura is exclusively their own, and is as smart and deep as it is cathartic and riddled with emotion and power.


Album streaming at - http://www.scenepointblank.com/news/records/2014/03/02/spb-exclusive-stream-locktender/



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user ratings (73)
Chart.
4
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Comments:Add a Comment 
GhettoHmbrglr
March 2nd 2014



571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

holy shit another lp already don't mind if i do

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
March 2nd 2014



5260 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, pos'd. Never heard of these guys but they sound interesting, will need to check them out.

Review read nicely for the most part, but one sentence in particular bothered me. "Vocalist Nick Yonce certainly conveys their emotion and the despair of their music with his gruff harsh vocals. His delivery is certainly unique..."

A few problems here. Your use of the word "certainly" is really awkward in both sentences, especially in the second, in which you seem to use the word as if it is interchangeable with "very." Secondly, be sure to not to use the same word too much, e.g. using "certainly" as a descriptor in two sentences in a row. Lastly, you should replace "their" with "the," or at least specify who "their" is. That's all I got, this review is a big improvement over your last two, so great job!

Digging: Jimmy Eat World - Clarity

PitchforkArms
March 2nd 2014



1411 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks man !

Digging: Black Monolith - Passenger

climactic
March 2nd 2014



18624 Comments


found the first album really forgettable, but will give this a listen when i get the chance.

also whats it been, half a year since kafka? chill guys

PitchforkArms
March 2nd 2014



1411 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

They've had a lot of material written already, so it's not like they were starting from a clean slate after kafka

North0House2
March 2nd 2014



5840 Comments


I ought to give this a listen when I get off of work. I enjoyed their earlier work.

Digging: Amen Dunes - Love

FearThyEvil
March 2nd 2014



12469 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

man, these guys were quick to make another lp. Not sure if this is a good thing or bad thing but I'll look into this regardless.

tempest--
March 2nd 2014



13055 Comments


new album already? is it free d/l as well?

Digging: Kimbra - The Golden Echo

PunchforPunch
March 2nd 2014



6181 Comments


OH SHIT didn't know these guys are from Men As Trees!! i should check em out sooner, fuck!!

PitchforkArms
March 2nd 2014



1411 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

its being streamed as of right now in the link in the review. preorders are up, and it will be up for free download on the record release day

tempest--
March 2nd 2014



13055 Comments


"This group is one of the most unique and original groups to surface in modern music, and I would recommend this to anyone who likes anything post-rock/metal, hardcore, screamo, or progressive-rock related."

ok sorry I have to say something about this.
no way in hell are these guys "one of the most unique and original groups [...] in modern music," there are a thousand bands that sound like em. I know this and I barely even listen to this kind of music. and where the hell does progressive rock come from? these guys don't sound like rush or pink floyd or even gay karnivool-esque "prog rock."
but otherwise good review man I'll be sure to check this one out because Kafka was good. I think you're fanboying pretty hard though.

PitchforkArms
March 2nd 2014



1411 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i think they have quite the unique approach to these things, and its not progressive rock in the norm, thats the idea of progressive. i think the progressive comes from the dynamics they write with

tempest--
March 2nd 2014



13055 Comments


idk I'd just call this straight up post-metal/hardcore

FearThyEvil
March 2nd 2014



12469 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

it is just post-metal with a hardcore feeling really. Nothing unique about this but that doesn't mean it isn't good.

Comatorium.
March 3rd 2014



4103 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the stream wont work for me, just wont load

anyone feel like being awesome and dropboxing this?

adr
March 3rd 2014



2247 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

damn, new album so soon? Gonna listen later, their debut was excellent.

Digging: Julee Cruise - Floating into the Night

Comatorium.
March 3rd 2014



4103 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Its SO good. Dunno how it stacks up to Kafka yet but first listen it's easy to tell this is wonderful.

adr
March 3rd 2014



2247 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

just listening to it, idk for the first 2 songs, but damn the 3rd is rly good and last one is AMAZING.

PitchforkArms
March 3rd 2014



1411 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah I changed my rank to a 5 after writing the review. Review reads a 4.5 so it works out. I think it and Kafka are both outstanding

JS19
March 3rd 2014



4215 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Aw man I can't wait for this

Digging: 68 - In Humor and Sadness



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