Review Summary: An amazing reintroduction from a band with an already solid introduction.
Daniel Wand (vocals), Andrew Tamayo (drums), Ryan Knowles (guitar, no longer in group), and Nicolas Lopez (guitar).
Right off the bat, if you enjoyed Capsizes last album "The Angst in my Veins," you may have mixed feelings about their latest release "A Reintroduction: The Essence of All That Surrounds Me," as there are two major differences between them. 1.This album features Daniel Wands first attempt at doing clean vocals along with screams in his career, something that has never been apart of Capsizes music. 2.The songs on this record seem to take a much more moderate tempo/pace, which is a change from their previous work. Capsize have always been about fast-paced drum beats, heavy, catchy guitar riffs and aggressive, raw screaming vocals. While they still are featured here, it's accompanied with clean vocals, more moderate paced drums, and melodic guitar riffs. This is definitely a change for Capsize. This is what a true reintroduction looks like for a post-hardcore band.
As said, this album features both clean and screaming vocals. For Daniel Wands' first time doing cleans, he pulls them of very well. They accompany the screams nicely and never sound out of place/awkward to hear. The same can be said for the screams, as well. While they usually fill the verses, the choruses are where the cleans are mainly featured. Wands' ability to switch between cleans and screams is absolutely flawless. "Tear me Apart" is definitely a highlight track for the vocals, along with "Safe Place," as it's where the clean vocals truly shine. "One Day I won't be so Easy to Forget" also features some great vocals before the second chorus, where Wand screams, "There's no hell/More imprisoning/Then the memories/That you've left with me." The album also features vocals from Brendan Murphy from "CounterParts"(on "Tear me Apart") and Tyler Ross from "Being as an Ocean" (on "The Same Pain") and they're the same as Daniel Wands' performance; outstanding.
As for the lyrics, they're nothing short of well crafted. If there's one thing that hasn't changed from Capsizes last record, it's the well done, unique songwriting. The opening words on "XX (Sew my Eyes)" are a great start to the album; "Take me away/To the same barren place/My mind always drags me back to/Stuck here again/Abandoned in the end/Can't keep track of all I've been through." "Tear me Apart" is Wands' telling of the time his dad kicked him out of the house, and has lines such as; "So watch me brave the same storm outside/Watching through your window with your perfect eyes." "You Got the Wrong Idea" also has some great lines in it, like, "I'm still falling/But I swear I'll land on my feet/Not the ending/Just done until you see clearly." The chorus of "The Same Pain" is the only true place where the lyrics suffer, as it's a bit simplistic compared to the rest of the album ("So as long as it's the same pain/Tear me to pieces again."), but it doesn't weigh down the album too badly.
The Guitars on this record alternate between causing a very heavy/eerie vibe and a melodic/uplifting vibe for the listener. There are plenty of catchy riffs throughout the songs, particularly in tracks "Split my Soul" and "Over you." There are also some electronic synth parts in songs like "I think it's Best we don't Talk Anymore" and "Safe Place." The drums keep a steady tempo and change between a quick and a moderate pace consistently and smoothly. Track "Safe Place" is a real highlight for the instrumentals, as well as the vocals. It's slow paced, calm/soft, and is a pleasure to hear after five heavy tracks. The only complaint I would have for the instrumentals would be that they follow a very similar formula in most of the songs, which is; Heavy breakdown/Lighten up before the chorus/Chorus/Heavy breakdown again/Sweet melodic section/Chorus/Bridge into final chorus/Final chorus/Fade out. Other than that; perfect.
Capsize change there style up a bit with this album, but still hold to their roots. I've seen plenty of their old fans that are unhappy with this album, as it is different from their last, but the thing is, bands won't sound the same forever. Bands change, and while some fans may not like that, it happens. They can't stick to the same formula forever, but, they can't branch out too far to the point where they start losing a lot of support. This is how a reintroduction should be done; some change, but not too much to the point where you forget where you started. Capsize pulled this off nearly flawlessly, and hopefully, they can continue their success with their next album.