Review Summary: With an abundance of intensity and creativity, Document #12 is simply a fantastic split through and through.Document #12
is kind of a big deal. As far removed from the knowledge of the general public Pg. 99 and Majority Rule are, both bands have gained some pretty impressive reputations, each being described as prolific and influential. And even through this obscurity, these bands are famous in their own right, shaping many acts that would proceed them, and blazing many trails along the way.
However, without a doubt, Pg. 99’s reputation far outdoes that of Majority Rule, and it’s not difficult to see why. Pg. 99 are accredited with pushing the screamo genre to new heights, making it a viable form of musical expression. That being said, on Document #12
the band obsolutely delivers. They seem much darker than in earlier works, with a much more menacing undertone. It’s still just as angry and concise as before, but the change in sound is an intriguing shift, making the split a fascinating listen throughout. The selections are truly varied, with more multifariousness in five songs than most bands have in entire albums. It really is the most impressive aspect of the split, as Pg. 99 keep things incredibly interesting and fresh throughout. “Friendship” opens up with the well known spastic and frenetic nature of the band, and quickly leads into a subdued but intense section, erupting into frenzied screams and concise guitar. This then heads into “Tantrum,” a very subdued, and almost calm, instrumental piece. The duality of the two pieces is fantastic, and goes a long way into making the first half of Document #12
such a jovial experience. “Richmond Is A Hole” is unlike the rest of the band’s material on the split, as it opens up with a peculiar, yet somewhat fun guitar part. The track never really erupts into bouts of fury or chaos, instead opting for a more experimental sound. Tracks like these really show that Pg. 99 really put a lot into Document #12
, and the split is helped exponentially because of it.
Unfortunately, Majority Rule doesn’t exactly meet the expectations met by Pg. 99. However, that isn’t to say that their four selections are bad, rather, they lack the balls-to-the-wall fantastic songwriting that Pg. 99 achieved. Regardless, they do an incredibly amiable job, making the last half of Document #12
a real treat to listen to. To be quite honest, I’ve never really been exposed to Majority Rule aside from a few songs from their debut. Needless to say, I was impressed by what they brought to the table with Document #12
. They really are great songwriters, and it does show. Their first selection, “Not in My Name” is fast paced, with a few placid moments strewn about. And that’s really what defines these songs, very angry and frenetic, but often times very subdued and experimental. It’s a great sound overall, as they achieve a fantastic mood with it. The pseudo-ambient segments slapped in the middle of “These Hands” divides the song into heavy bass laden sections of singing, and hectic and chaotic bouts of screaming. Its got a great feel, and the pace is truly something to be admired. “Packaged Prison” wraps up Majority Rule’s section, and the album as a whole. It’s an interesting choice for a closer, as the last couple of minutes are rather creepy, with some spacey and menacing guitars play over some distant effeminate vocals. It was a good fit, as it allows the album to kind of “drift off” to its end.
To say Document #12
is an impressive split would be an understatement, as it completely melds the styles of the two bands perfectly. The two bands sound wonderful on one disc, making the transition from song five to song six virtually seamless. That isn’t to say that the split is homogeneous, not in the least, as there is an abundant amount of variation and creativity throughout. With all of its frenzied chaos and beauty Document #12
is a wonderful experience.