Review Summary: Warm bring the atmosphere and the crunch, with all the fancy bells and whistles of your staple post-metal icons.
Yes we've all heard the progressive metal shpiel by now... What is it" Can progressive metal even be a genre" Its all the same; irrelevant. Genre tags are, for the most part useless for many bands who shift soundscapes from vastly differing influences. A young band hailing from Massachusetts, Warm are most noticeably influenced by the likes of Black Sabbath Baroness and Neurosis. Despite being primarily an amalgamation of stoner and post-metal elements, Warm manages to present their music in a captivating package full of turgid Meshuggah inspired time signatures and quickly juxtaposing shifts of mood.
Warm succeeds so well in blatantly wearing their influences on their sleeve primarily because of their musicianship. The whole band is very good at instantaneously throwing a changeup to the soundscape. In songs like Waters, the band go from winding Crack The Skye-esque riffage to almost Melvins sounding drone metal, effortlessly and almost unnoticeably subtle. The closing track System opens up with something that sounds like it could be a b-side off Tool's Undertow and gradually progresses into something Neurosis would have crafted in the early 90's, which from there turns into something that sounds vaguely like something off an ISIS album. Mixed in with the post-modern metal foundation is a healthy dose of psychedelia, playing with guitar fuzz and sweeping distortion like an angry Hendrix Experience. Warm's creativity and ability to create a trippy atmosphere is a prevalent quality to their music.
So Warm is a band that cleverly plays on a vast array of influences; that's great, but what about the overall cohesiveness of the album" Well that's where Warm fall short. Despite being a great mixbag of concise and entertaining songs bearing host to a wide array of quality influences, the overall recording package is lacking the heavy emotion that lengthy releases of similar nature bring with them. When a band like Neurosis write an album, its long, with lengthy spacious songs that make lots of room for a deep emotional build to occur, but Warm's songs clock in around the 5:00ish minute mark, and that just isn't enough time for music of this nature to have lasting impact as it forces the band to hurry their massive changes in sound without proper transitioning, resulting in an awkward picture when one steps back and views the piece as a whole. Although we see these song lengths with band's like Mastodon and Sabbath, the fact of the matter is that the consistency of these band's sound gives them the edge in songcraft.
Overall, Warm's debut is a great example of all the things right with modern sludge & post-metal, but its short run time holds it from being a heavy hitting, emotional thriller of an album. Nonetheless, any fan of the bands mentioned above should give this a listen. Warm has potential be another significant name in the post-metal world, but for that to happen the songwriting must mature, and the band must must streamline and run with one of the many directions their music attempts to reach for. Keep these guys on your radar, they have a full length coming out spring of 2013.
[ http://warm.bandcamp.com/ ]