Rishloo
Living as Ghosts with Buildings as Teeth


4.0
excellent

Review

by GrantHenderson USER (1 Reviews)
December 14th, 2014 | 28 replies


Release Date: 12/09/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Living As Ghosts With Buildings As Teeth proves to be thrilling, yet beautiful at the same time as it is the next step in the right direction for this reformed Seattle based band.

With the last release of Feathergun, Rishloo took advantage of Andrew Mailloux’s extensive vocal range and incorporated psychedelic influences as well as adding tranquil elements to find their own niche in the rock genre. This was a huge departure from their second LP Eidolon which was mainly a heavy sound and drew many Tool comparisons. With the release of Living as Ghosts with Buildings as Teeth, Rishloo has very much kept going in the direction that Feathergun left off, but also displays some melancholic alternative influences that add a nice variation to their previous sound. This blend of styles is what continues to make the band unique to many progressive rock bands. What is perhaps most ambitious about this release is that in terms of song structure, they are not afraid to dynamically jump around, but still keep flow throughout them. It is obvious that Rishloo did not play it safe in this department as many of the songs - including “Dark Charade” which caps the 10 minute mark - jump through well flowing soft and heavy sections feeling somewhat like a roller-coaster. It is also easy to see that the band has developed and matured further in terms of songwriting. Jesse’s drumming has improved significantly since feathergun and its nice to see the guitars attention to detail with its added layers.


Many of these songs are less vocally based than previous albums. For the most part, the instrumentation sets the main melody and structure. The vocals feel more like another integrated instrument often used to harmonize off of the guitar and bass. Usually, it feels natural and enhances the music, but there are times where there is slight overuse of Andrews vocals and it starts to feel slightly overwhelming. The vocals in the start of “Winslow” also feel slightly forced and even obstructs what the instrumentation sets out, but they do improve throughout the song. This problem also existed in Feathergun but understandably, it is ultimately part of their individual style and to fault them on such a decision is one that can only be a matter of opinion and perspective. It does little to hinder the quality of the music. That being said, there are some great vocal melodies on this album; such as at the ending of “Just a ride”, the verse of “landmines” and the second last section of “Dark Charade”.


Living as Ghosts with Buildings as Teeth puts a particularly strong emphasis on lighter tones and greatly succeeds in creating a natural contrast with some of the heavier aspects of the album. For example, the first 2:30 of “Dark Charade” are beautiful to say the least and build nicely to the second half of the song. As well, the chord structure in “Just a ride” is brilliant. The album also has its fair share of heavy grooves and some great riffage out of David Gillett. The Intro to Winslow is one of the albums highlights, as well as the splintering riff near the end of the song. Also, the first solo in “Landmines” and pretty much all of “Dead Rope Machine” show that he is very much an underrated musician and displays his great creativity.


Living as Ghosts with Buildings as Teeth does have it’s faults however. It seems that they attempt to end most of their songs with an emotional climatic ending (for lack of a better phrase) as if every other song on the album feels like it should be the last song. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can get exhausting when the flow from song to song is disrupted from one climatic ending to the next. It is as if that there is no pathway throughout the album but each song is it’s own entity. While in itself this is not a fault as many post rock bands share this trait, some of these climactic endings can be slightly mediocre and melodramatic. for example, the endings of “Dark Charade” and “Landmines” do not feel overly significant even though they are obviously meant to. This is because the melodic structure is not exceedingly clever and is sometimes even plain generic. on the other hand, the endings of “Just A Ride” and “Radio” for example are successful in concluding the songs in a compelling way.


While Rishloo’s creative capabilities are great, perhaps what sets them apart from reaching some of the goliaths in the respective genres such as Karnivool, Tool or The Mars Volta is that their creativity only brings them so far. As musicians, they are not quite as skillfully developed as these bands and do not display some of the progressive feats that they set the bar for. It is unfair of me, however, to compare Rishloo to these bands because it is certainly not their goal to be like them. Many other influences expand outside of the modern progressive rock scene such as David Bowie or Led Zeppelin to Elton John. Rishloo has proven themselves as a distinct entity in progressive rock music.

Living as Ghosts with Buildings as Teeth is beautiful at times and thrilling at others and despite some minor inconsistencies, it holds out as one of the top albums of the 2014 year in progressive rock music. Their unique combination of styles and ambitious sense of song structure is what makes it the next necessary step in Rishloo’s 4 album discography. I would highly recommend checking out this album and listening to it more than once as it may tend to grow on you over time.


user ratings (361)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
Nick Mongiardo (4.5)
Featuring heightened musicianship, better production and yet another incredible vocal performance, R...



Comments:Add a Comment 
GrantHenderson
December 13th 2014


8 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is my first review and I am definitely open to constructive criticism!

VisionsFromTheDarkSide
December 13th 2014


2409 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"usually natural and enhances the music, but there are times where there is slight overuse of Andrews

vocal range and it starts to feel a little pretentious"



Should be a capital letter as it's the start of a sentence.



"The album also has it’s fair share of heavy grooves and some great riffage out of David Gillett."



No need for the apostrophe in 'its'. You've done this quite a lot in the review so just go over them.



" The Intro to Winslow is one of the albums highlights, As well as the splintering riff near the end of

the song."



Should be a lower case 'a' in 'as well as'.





These are just examples of me being nit-picky though; for a first review you've done a real good job. I

would suggest perhaps making your points a bit more concise, as this was a fairly

long review, but other than this you've done a good job here, pos.

Mongi123
December 13th 2014


20075 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hey dude, this review is pretty good for a first! Though I like it a tad more than you(borderline 5 for me honestly) and I also plan on doing a right up but that's besides the point. Sorry if I'm gonna come off as harsh but here it goes:



"This was a huge departure from their second LP Eidolon Which was mainly a heavy Progressive sound and drew many Tool comparisons."



Remember to put album titles in italics in the future. Also, see the "Which" with the capital W in the middle there? Those types of things are spread throughout the whole review so remember to proof read.



"traditional classical and jazz influences"



Where are those exactly?



"usually natural and enhances the music, but there are times where there is slight overuse of Andrews vocal range and it starts to feel a little pretentious."



For what it's worth, wouldn't exactly call the use of his vocals like that pretentious, but I do agree they come off as overused at parts. Also I'd add a "They" in the beginning there because you either forgot to put that, or you just forgot to capitalize the "usually." The beginning still wouldn't have worked with just the capitalized usually though.



"It seems that they attempt to end most of their songs with an emotional climatic ending (for lack of a better phrase) as if every other song on the album feels like it should be the last song."



Honestly, I don't understand how that could be considered a flaw. This is the style that post rock usually uses, so why can't they blend prog with post rock?









Mongi123
December 13th 2014


20075 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"As musicians, they are not quite as skillfully developed as these bands and do not display some of the progressive feats that they set the bar for. It might even be more suitable to consider Rishloo simply an “organic rock band”."



Just my opinion on the first part: Disagreed, I think they are very proficient in the way they play here, but that could just be the Rishloo fanboy talking in me. Also organic rock band=Whaaaaaa?



All in all, not a bad review dude and you describe the music well for a first and despite some grammar issues and strange argument choices(for me), keep it up!

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
December 13th 2014


16068 Comments


you a cop bro? what's with the double indentations?

Dunpeal
December 13th 2014


4181 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

mixed feelings about this album for me. gonna have to give it a few more listens. so far the mixed in convo samplings feel awkward

GrantHenderson
December 13th 2014


8 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys for some of the tips! I made a few little changes mostly simple editing. I stand by my opinion on my strange arguments that Mongi123 brought up but I understand if you disagree with a some of it.

Mongi123
December 13th 2014


20075 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@Grant Fair enough! I'm really glad this is getting fantastic reception.



@Dunpeal yea listen more bro. It may grow on you for sure.

Sach360
December 14th 2014


47 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I respect your opinion but I'm not sure how you can say that the ending of Landmines is "Slightly mediocre and Melodramatic" along with "not overly significant"... From all the responses and reactions I've read regarding the song, it seems that the ending is universally loved by fans and newcomers.

makrand
December 14th 2014


52 Comments


Nice first review! I usually stop writing after the first line itself. Nice try. Cheers

GrantHenderson
December 14th 2014


8 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Sach360 I guess it didn't click with me to being all that epic.. If you or other people loved it then don't let my opinion get in the way of yours! I loved the album as a whole, enough to make my first review on it. I considered a 4.5 rating as well.

Lord(e)Po)))ts
December 14th 2014


40952 Comments


band false's so hard

Digging: Amon Tobin - Fear In A Handful Of Dust

Sach360
December 14th 2014


47 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

@Grant Yeah that's fair, everyone has their own opinion. Glad you enjoyed the album though

Celtics2448
December 14th 2014


21 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for reminding me of this! I'll make sure to listen to this before my year end list

VisionsFromTheDarkSide
December 14th 2014


2409 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wish the second half of this was as good as the first

Piripichotes
December 15th 2014


486 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Let's just wait for the 1's to start rolling...

AtomicWaste
Moderator
December 15th 2014


2789 Comments


Wondering if this is something I would dig. Though there's no immediate access to a stream while I'm at work, it seems.

emester
December 15th 2014


8251 Comments


Waste, Im pretty sure you would love this

cristane
December 15th 2014


116 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Good review. The only thing I disagree with is the complaint about the climatic endings for some songs, particularly "Landmines" - those last 3 minutes are absolutely on the highlights of this album for me.

I rated this a 5, but after a few extra listens it's more of a 4.5 for me - tracks 5-7, although great, are not as good as the others.

GrantHenderson
December 16th 2014


8 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yea I feel like lots of people will disagree with my opinion on the ending of "Landmines". But personally I did not find it to be overly special. Glad you liked the album though!



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