Review Summary: The tech-thrash days give their place to a clear metallic rock approach, with the result being highly interesting once again.
Year 1994 was most probably a period of intense creative turmoil within the band’s ranks. Just a few months after the release of their second album, Lying In Wait
, the band issued its follow-up, Symbols for the Blue Times
. This short time interval in between a band’s subsequent releases was something rare in the 90’s metal scene. It could be indirectly linked to the frequency with which albums were issued by one band, within a single year, during the 70’s.
In their 3rd album, Depressive Age manage to do the exact same thing the 70's rock acts did. That is releasing a very good album, introducing a whole new musical approach compared to its predecessor and doing all that in a short time interval. The excellent tech-thrash manipulations in First Depression
and Lying In Wait
have given their place to a more metallic rock approach, somewhat resembling to bands like Audrey Horne or late Katatonia.
The rhythm guitars in this album could be recklessly characterized as generic, but with a careful listen one can simply see they aren’t, as they carry superb musicianship and well-cloaked diversity, directly originating from their tech-thrash days. The use of semi-acoustic or acoustic guitars (first used successfully in Lying In Wait
and nearly perfected in this album), either supports the songs in the background or being the song backbone altogether. The melancholic tunes of acoustic/semi-acoustic guitars are amplified by the odd/minimalistic notes played by the lead guitars.
The drums and percussions on this album are worthy of reference too. Norbert Drescher uses the cymbals extensively and sometimes in a complex way, either playing in an energetically or a doomy kind of way. The way cymbals are used here is one of the record’s highlights.
Last but not least, the vocals. Jan Lubitski does a fine job once again. In contrast to the previous two albums, he is somewhat more controlled and way more emotional. However, he still manages to lead his voice to the extreme here and there. The lyrics talk in general about urban loneliness and the misfits of life that try hard to fit in, among other things.
With this record, Depressive Age show that a rock/metal band can change its sound from the core and still give a highly interesting musical approach.
World in Veins
We Hate Happy Ends