The Receiving End of Sirens
The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi



by clairvoyant USER (24 Reviews)
October 5th, 2007 | 71 replies

Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Receiving End of Sirens loses track with their sound on their newest effort, and in turn develops an overly mixed sound with several lackluster tracks.

Every time a band decides to further progress its sound, there is always an air of uncertainty surrounding their newest release. Many times the band uses the perfect formula and creates a fantastic album that develops the band’s sound further, a fine example being Thrice, with their 2005 album Vheissu. The Receiving End of Sirens is another one of several bands that people feel are “emo” or that generic “post-hardcore” sound, but yet they have shown how they strive to different and not be lumped in with everybody else. The band’s 2005 release Between The Heart And The Synapse proved to be an exceptionally strong full-length debut album, putting them above other bands who they may be considered akin to, but did not establish them as the forerunners of their genre, whatever it may be. But they did not want to just do the same thing over again, instead the band had a huge vision based around a vast concept. The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi was based upon a book of the same title written back in the 16th century. It suggested that each planet “sings” a tone as it orbits the sun, with the Earth singing “mi fa mi”, essentially representing “misery, famine, misery”. The experimental nature of the book and the albums title echoes what The Receiving End of Sirens attempts to do, but The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi does not exactly unveil a completely new form of the band.

Things start off very slowly on the album, with the opener, Swallow People Hole being a complete bore of track. It’s as if the band’s definition of progression was to just make things slower, add a few more keys, and remove most of the energy from the song. The track feels as if it is building up, with more and more layers of sound being added as the song progresses, but the guitar lead at the very end does not cut it for a final explosion. The Salesman, The Husband, The Love is another fine example of a band’s progression gone wrong. Nothing stands out in the track, instead it blends in as just another one of those “slower” tracks with the generic guitar lead in the chorus, the keys attempting to create an atmosphere in the verses, and weak vocal melodies throughout.

But not every song is just a poor effort at advancement. Some tracks take what the band did right on the previous album, and just add a small new element. Disappear (Oubliette) and Smoke and Mirrors both feel like they could have been on Between The Heart And The Synapse, but the band brings in the more atmospheric sound onto both tracks, giving Smoke and Mirrors a mysterious feel with some heavy guitars in the chorus and a vocal melody that mixes well with the thick atmosphere created by some nifty guitar effects. Disappear (Oubliette) is a quick rocker with a strong usage of the guitar to fill in the empty space instead of the band's common choice to opt for keys instead.

Other tracks do not even remotely represent what the band’s sound on their previous album, with a very electronica-based influence on certain tracks, devoid of heavy guitar lines and pounding double bass. A Realization of the Ear is highly keyboard based to create a dense atmosphere that drives the song through its lack of any formal drum beat, or rock-sounds at all. The melodious tone of the track makes it the perfect type of song to listen to while on adderall. Music of the Spheres is also along these lines, except far more boring with absolutely no hooks at all, and is seemingly out of place in the album. Some songs find a middle ground between the electronica and the rock such as Stay Small and Pale Blue Dot, which are neither fully keyboard based sounds or upbeat rock. The problem with the two is that both lack a special element that makes them great songs, with both sounding just like a generic combination of the “generic slow, layered verse…slow, driving chorus with stereotypical guitar lead”.

However, some songs were done just perfectly and had a perfect mix of old and new sounds. Saturnus begins with a loud intro and a strong guitar lead that calms down in the verse, before rising again in the chorus. The song highly resembles Thrice’s Of Dust And Nations, with the fast paced, strong lead work in the first half of the song before moving into a very atmospheric middle section that the original part the track lead into perfectly. However, Saturnus comes back up with a fast, powerful ending to round out the song. The albums crowning achievement comes with the epic The Heir of Empty Breath. With a dark intro to kick things off, the stage of the song is set with an ominous feel, as if the end is near. Nothing stops as the vocal melodies are perfect, with a powerful chorus that continues the dark atmosphere, while the song continues to build upon itself, adding more and more tension to the song. Finally everything explodes into a powerful riff with intensely heavy drumwork behind it. Instead of continuing the heavy trend, or going back into the framework of the beginning of the song, the music suddenly comes to a halt. The dark atmosphere returns, except far softer and utilizing a combination of all instruments to provide a dense mix of sounds that represent the aftermath of sudden destruction until the song ends, easily making The Heir of Empty Breath the best song on the album.

While The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi is not everything that it could have lived up to be, it does have some bright moments. Some songs show incredible potential for the band, while others make it seem as if the band is lost with what it wants to do. Instead of defining progression as just slower songs that are more atmospheric, The Receiving End of Sirens needs an inspired sound that pushes them over the boundaries of their current, mixed sound.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
October 6th 2007


Good review, but TREOS debut was also not a good album IMO. I doubt I'll check this out, even if Smoke And Mirrors sounds decent.

October 6th 2007


Is this a rewrite? Some of these statements in your opening paragraph sound familiar. But good review regardless. I haven't checked this out yet but I heard Smoke and Mirrors live and it was good. For some reason I don't feel compelled to give listen a listen despite liking BTHATS.

October 6th 2007


Album Rating: 2.5

no, this isnt a rewrite. the first paragraph might sound familiar because i got the concept of the album from wikipedia. but its pretty much a whole paragraph condensed into one sentence.

This Message Edited On 10.06.07

November 18th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

i was a bit disappointed with this album, i dunno maybe it was just a little too abstract and 'lofty' sacrificing sheer listenability, but it you cant deny the attention to detail in every single section on the album

November 18th 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

tis boring. Compared to BtHatS its pretty weak. Good review.

December 23rd 2007


Album Rating: 4.5

i havnt heard BtHatS yet but judging this album on being my first impression of TREOS i think its a beautiful album, it kinda seems like Vheissu from Thrice and it also kinda reminds me of Brand New for some reason (idk why)

March 10th 2008


This band sounds like a poor cross between Hopesfall and Circa Survive. Their old stuff was much more of a rip off of the Victory type bands.

May 19th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

everyone is fuckin' high, this album is amazing

May 13th 2009


Album Rating: 4.5

I've determined that I'm not listening to the same album as most of you. There is nothing remotely boring about this album and the layered vocal melodies and instrumental parts are pretty close to brilliant. This is a pretty dense album. I can see where it's difficult to get into. It took me a long time to be able to listen to it from start to finish but I love the whole things and I've been listening to it for almost a year now and I'm still not bored with it. This is a nearly perfect album with only a few parts the teeter on boring and the rest being close to brilliant.

May 27th 2009


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off


album RULES.

July 5th 2009


this shit is soooo fucking boring!

July 5th 2009


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

no, just no.

July 7th 2009


This album soared above BTHATS for me. The guys harnessed what was more mature about their sound and capitalized. Just because it's slow and considered doesn't mean it isn't good.

August 7th 2009


Album Rating: 5.0

This album grew on me so much, I know I'm a fanboy of the band but tbh I was sooooooooo dissapointed in the follow up to bthats. It took almost two years of on and off listening for this to finally sink in, and holy shit are these fucking lyrics amazing(ly depressing).

"I'm the fervor of the fever you can't sweat. I'm a spring of flowing fume and fret.

What have I become? What have I become?"

"Daddies little girl met the world, and watched the devil do his work.

If she only knew just how sorry I was.

It's because I truly love her, that makes me wish I could take back the work that brought her here in the first place.

I know you'll grow, but I wish I knew you'd stay small if I said so. Please just don't grow, please just don't grow just stay small, stay small."

Some of these lyrics are damn deep, and if you want some truly depressing stuff listen to the whole of Pale Blue Dot. Receiving End of Sirens did just fine on their sophmore album, or debut of the new TREOS as I like to think of it. I really regret all the harsh things I said about this album at first, I will admit I judged it waaaay to quickly, and I also know that if TREOS makes a come back, they can do so succesfully without Casey Crescenzo.

August 7th 2009


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

The last song is just fucking incredible. On its own it's good, but in context after everything that's built and built before it's so fucking emotional when he says there's no place like home.

August 7th 2009


Album Rating: 5.0

And I highly disagree with the review. The whole of the second paragraph.... the guitar lead at the end is not the explosion, it's the belting of the chorus. The salesman, the husband, the lover... different opinions I guess, but it sounds like you are like I was at first, comparing this to bthats. I know that is a fair comparison since they are the same band, but I really do think this album needs to be viewed on it's own merits. It is pretty obvious what Caseys influence on between.... was, and since he is no longer in the band.. well.

And how many times did you listen to this, just curious.

August 7th 2009


Album Rating: 5.0

I can't help but sing along to that part. It's like the entire album builds up to that moment.

Theres no place like home!!!!!!! I can learn to live with this! If I can learn to live in it!

Sticks and stones won't break my bones, it's the branches and boulders I've shouldered is genius too.

The only song I'm really still not a fan of is Wanders, but it's still nowhere near bad.

August 10th 2009


I admit, this album wasn't quite as good as the last... But this album was still outstanding none the

Btw, I'm not digging Underoath 0_0
I do not know why it says that below me...

November 25th 2009


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

i feel sorry for the people that never managed to connect with this record

gives me butterflies

November 28th 2009


Album Rating: 4.5

i love this album. the salesman, the husband, the lover is such an amazingly emotional and well written song (and the acoustic version is awesome as well). i wish these guys were still together D:

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