Review Summary: A promising debut full of energy, creativity and passion.
It's always risky business leaving your semi-successful band for an unproven, new creative outlet. Above all things, it's an opportunity to prove your worth as an artist and show your capability to adapt and become something more substantial than what you're known for and that will by all accounts hopefully build upon and redefine your career. Doug Robinson is doing exactly that and going all in with his new group Night Verses who has some big shoes to fill in place of his previous outfit, The Sleeping
. A second chance at a first impression is hard to come by and equally as hard to capitalize on. Side projects and secondary bands are usually such polarizing entities that either catch flack for not being as good as the original band or they best their past work and break new ground. So - was the risk worth the reward? You bet.
Night Verses vocally speaking plays to Mr. Robinson's strengths that were evident on the recordings with The Sleeping
, yet he also harnesses some seriously strong screaming ability almost akin to Keith Buckley of Every Time I Die
. That added dynamic makes him an invaluable asset to the band that defines them and puts them a head above everyone else in the crowd. The screams are used sparingly and tastefully throughout this EP and only where it lyrically makes sense. He manages to be poetically vague with his lyrics about the typical themes of love and loss, but he does so with style and puts some real passion and energy into them.
Their soft/heavy tension is reminiscent of some of the Defones
newer material, but it's also something more than that. They have a knack for building up almost Irepress
-ish post-metal climatic atmospheres that explode with force as evidenced best in the chorus of the opening track. So many bands are defined as "genre defying" or "boundary breaking" for a marketing gimmick, but these boys are the genuine article in that department as there simply is no one else doing what they do right now. This record manages to sound as dense as a dying star while being lighter than a feather. Not much more could be asked in the production and recording department here - the bass rumbles and is as clear as crystal, the guitars have a truly powerful Meshuggah
tone that drives everything forward and the drums sound phenomenal. Aric Improta has a standout performance here - the drum work is flashy without being obnoxious and shines when he needs to while taking a back seat when it's called for. He exudes a ton of flair and personality without overpowering any other instrument in the mix and plays off of the guitar work effortlessly.
Out Of The Sky
is a lean, mean, finely crafted machine that packs a punch most full-length albums would strive for in a mere four tracks. While it's a nearly flawless debut effort it leaves you wanting something extra clocking in at just under 19 minutes. Let's just hope this appetizer is telling of what the main course has in store because I'm starving for more.