Review Summary: I don't understand
Everyone was calling F♯ A♯ ∞ the soundtrack to the apocalypse; an atmospheric journey through the end of the world. Now I love darker music because I feel melancholy atmospheres are more powerful and emotive. I wanted to hear what this amazing album that promised to be a dark and unforgettable journey was all about.
That being said, it took me a while to muster up the courage to listen to F♯ A♯ ∞. I was afraid the long songs and generally aimless approach to songwriting I had heard from other post-insert-genre-here bands would combine to make some agonizingly boring songs.
I was right.
That's not to say that the album as a whole is extremely boring, or that being boring is the biggest offense of this masterpiece. No, F♯ A♯ ∞ can be quite good at times. About ten minutes into East Hastings
is extremely good. The melody is truly dark and engrossing for a few minutes before it ends and reverts to the boring white noise and choppy arpeggios that came before it. some excruciating time later the album, and the song, takes a turn for the worst. After the choppy arpeggios fade into the background we are met with more white noise that becomes increasingly 1. loud 2. high pitched 3. obnoxious. At the end it sounds like a mosquito is flying in your ear. How is this enjoyable to anyone? I legitimately don't understand how anyone could be so in love with this album after it gives you a head-splitting headache like that.
I honestly couldn't even think of anything to say about The Dead Flag Blues
even while I was listening to it because nothing happens that is even worth paying attention to for its entire sixteen minutes of wasted play time. The beginning of East Hastings
isn't any better the middle is great, and the end is just grating. Providence
is full of great ideas that work really well until they don't. Which brings me to my biggest complaint.
Even the good parts of the album aren't really sure where they are going. About ten minutes into Providence
there is a riff that keeps building and really feels like it is going to have an amazing,climatic, payoff. Surprisingly, there is no payoff whatsoever. One awkward transition later and we are listening to something completely different that isn't anywhere near as interesting or engaging. Which is then followed by another build that would be great if it went somewhere before being awkwardly replaced with a different musical idea.
F♯ A♯ ∞ is more frustrating to me then anything. The aforementioned middle of East Hastings
and large sections of Providence
are actually pretty good. But to get to these diamonds in the rough you have to sit through the rest of the album which is incredibly boring and at times excessively loud and disharmonious.