Review Summary: I hope you can still hear what's underneath...
It was when Mike Mantione’s mental instabilities and illnesses reached the breaking point that he was driven to write The Good Nurse. In the peak of his insanity spawned a concept album full of darkness, yet a lot of heart. A story of a dying man and the guardian angel who holds his hand as he painfully struggles with sickness and insanity in the confines of a hospital. It’s concept and themes are close to heart with Mike Mantione as it’s writings are a reflection of his mind during his down time for his years out of commission. Deep and poetic lyrics cut deep in these thirteen tracks and root themselves onto the foundations of the album in the endless sea of raw power. The heartbreaking vocal work clashing alongside beautiful instrumental work emulates the feelings Mike Mantione felt in ways that words simply cannot. You can hear every bit of pain and suffering that Mike went through in his time of suffering.
What makes The Good Nurse a perfect album is how deep it connects with listeners. As the listener descends into a sea of madness when the journey progresses every little word becomes personal. We begin to find ourselves looking into a mirror and begin to find ourselves in the track’s metaphors. Feelings of loneliness, anger, sadness, optimism, pain, sickness, and heartbreak. It’s living in every track, and as every blissful drum beat and every note of a note of a guitar begin to bring these feelings to life we begin to find ourselves lost inside a world we never once knew existed. The heartbreak being painted onto the canvases before us are reflected within the lyrics and melodies crafted with each other hit close to him in more ways than one.The relation between the main character and the nurse brings out words and themes that The bonds formed between the two characters and the listener grow strong with each passing line only to have it destroyed when the album takes a turn unexpected by the listener.
The album begins with a quick strum of the guitar before the sweep of trumpets flood out of the gates and begin to drag the track down into a depressive atmosphere where then begins Mike’s epic. His poetry presented behind a mask of vocal strains and flaws capture the feelings presented throughout this record. His flaws and his qualities, it’s the raw drive that makes The Good Nurse feel human and give it it’s own life. Perfect blends of ominous, energetic, and brash guitar melodies. Sweeping and haunting jazz sections breathing mellow life into each track. Frantic drum beats and patterns dancing through each track in technical perfection. Every instrumental booms in each track demanding your attention in mighty roars. As the album concludes down the road with a heartfelt closer as the concept ends itself on a most optimistically depressing note. Through every crescendo, every descent and ascent into new levels of insanity, and every last punch from Mike’s hurting vocals you’re taken on a journey through the very heart and soul of a story worth every last bit of your attention. Five Eight takes it’s concept and themes to heart to some painfully genuine levels and drives them through the walls with breathtaking presentation. Five Eight have very well composed the perfect album and one of the most criminally overlooked albums in the world of music.