Envy
The Fallen Crimson


5.0
classic

Review

by Brady Hayes USER (45 Reviews)
February 11th, 2020 | 389 replies


Release Date: 02/07/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: More than anyone could ask for.

The revival and resurgence of seminal Japanese post-rock/screamo outfit Envy is one of the genre’s greatest miracles. Despite numerous news articles claiming the departure of the band’s long time vocalist Tetsuya Fukagawa, as well as numerous mix-ups to the bands, line up including the replacements of both the lead guitarist and the drummer, it was clear to many long time fans that the band was perhaps coming to a finale. However, with the 2018 release of the band’s EP “Alnair in August”; there were new signs up hope for the band's continuation and return to form. The EP saw the return of Fukagawa as well as a complete redesign of the band's previous sound from the past two LP’s. It was louder, more chaotic, instrumentally dense, but contained the raw intensity and emotion that made Envy so transcending. The two songs were condensed to a shorter length, doing wonders for the previously overlong and boring post-rock noodling that presided in some of the previous albums. I reiterate that the return of Envy is a miracle not because of the lineup swaps or the return to form, but because these titans of screamo were able to create a collection of unique and varied tracks of swirling beauty despite seemingly being at the brink of collapse. “The Fallen Crimson” is Envy’s grand culmination of their years of experience and quite simply some of the best music they have ever released.

“The Fallen Crimson” is a fusion of constructed chaos and distorted splendor. There is an undeniable paradox to the album that is best described by the aforementioned fusion of genres that Envy is known for. They have combined the crushing and epic density of post-rock with harsh and guttural screams for decades now, but “The Fallen Crimson” is something so much more unique than a combination of contrasting genres. Each song is brimming with personality and uniqueness, from the fantastic post-hardcore breakdowns of album opener Statement of freedom to the blistering blast beats on Marginalized Thread, the music does not strictly submit itself to slow builds and crescendos. Instead, it lays down a soundscape with each new song that effectively portrays each mood and emotion that the band is attempting to build upon. Album standout Rhythm contains none of Fukagawa’s vocals and is instead replaced with gorgeous female vocals and the accompany of shimmering guitars and earthly drums that are reminiscent of Mono’s stellar track Moonlight. The glistening sound of Rhythm’s opening few minutes is made even better through an abrupt guitar crash, and then the full bloom of its scope is realized through the gorgeous crescendo.

Instrumentally, “The Fallen Crimson” is the band’s most effective demonstration of talent yet. Tracks like Fingerprint mark focalize the monstrous power behind Hiroki Watanabe’s drumming. He’s fast and frantic but knows how to hold the attention of the listener in the slower passages of the album. He contributes to some of the overall best moments of the album, with the upbeat downpour of cymbal crashes cascading throughout the track’s length adding such significant brevity to the colossal sound. “The Fallen Crimson” sounds unbelievably loud for the most part, in parts due to the triple layering of guitars, incredibly lurid bass, opaque drumming, and powerful vocal work. I have listened to the album multiple times now through both stereo speakers and headphones and both condense the myriad of sounds into a comprehensible collage of brilliance. Especially with an album that contains three different guitar lines throughout most of the tracks, it is astounding to be able to differentiate the tracks of music this easily.

Strangely enough, there is a newfound attraction that needs to be addressed by the two songs from the “Alnair in August” that have found their way onto the tracklisting for “The Fallen Crimson”. Most artists would have been fine with placing two already established tracks that have been received extremely well by their fans on their album and call it a day, but Envy does not abide by this. These tracks have been completely reworked from the ground up and completely blow away their EP counterparts. Marginalized thread, in particular, has received some hefty improvements to sound and production, with the emphasis of guitars being particularly enhanced and layered upon. The track is increasingly sporadic, containing some of the album’s best heavy passages while remaining entirely graceful in its performance. The duet on the tracks closing bridge is particularly incredible, creating a harmony among the heavy distortion of guitars and drums that is melodically exhilarating and gorgeous at once. What was once could have been easily placed on a list of Envy’s ten best songs, Dawn and gaze, is now remastered and reimagined in ways that I could never have expected. The clutter of the drums in the production of the original track is now gone, and now sound even more heavenly and uplifting than before and the shrieking beauty of the guitars is now more pronounced than ever. Even better is Fukugawa’s vocal performance which is perhaps the new best aspect of the track. While Fukugawa is seemingly at his peak in terms of vocal excellence on this record with tracks like Swaying leaves and scattering breath even containing some of his absolute best clean vocals, it is his guttural and emotionally charged screams that carry a lot of the personal depth of the album. His screams are agonizingly breathtaking and preserve every single bit of emotion possible. The sincerity in every crack in his voice can be heard, and no other track best displays it than the final minutes of Dawn and gaze.

Envy has returned to the world of music in the best possible way. The album is a complete rehabilitation of the sound they had been known for, built upon and layered with a myriad of new and brilliant ideas that lead to completely unexpected results. Envy has always teetered on the lines of experimentation and rehash, but “The Fallen Crimson” revels in each unique sound it creates and every old sound it enhances. Envy remains a band that emphasizes emotion above all else, but now with the creative songwriting and instrumental prowess to back it up. Continuing to transcend both genre and language, “The Fallen Crimson” is not just a miracle that shows a band coming to terms with a rough patch in their discography, but completely understand the very depth of their potential that fans new and old can finally listen to.



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user ratings (330)
4
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
hogan900
February 11th 2020


3175 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

woah a hyperbolic review from hogan who could guess!

Been a while but I really wanted to talk about this as much as I could, absolutely blown away by how this thing turned out. May dwindle down a little bit over time but for now there is nothing keeping me from loving every single track on this thing.

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
February 11th 2020


28590 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

Excellent, excellent. This is the kind of review I was hoping this would score - kudos to you for getting there, and in style at that (pos pos pos). Album r i p s and makes me happy and other things also

"Marginalized thread, in particular, has received some hefty improvements to sound and production, with the emphasis of guitars being particularly enhanced and layered upon"

I remember being faintly underwhelmed by the original, but the version here rips so imma have to agree hard on that.

"What was once could have been easily placed on a list of Envy’s ten best songs, Dawn and gaze, is now remastered and reimagined in ways that I could never have expected"

^small nag in the face of otherwise solid writing, but I reckon you can sharpen the syntax a little on this one ;]

Digging: ZOMBIE-CHANG - TAKE ME AWAY FROM TOKYO

hogan900
February 11th 2020


3175 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

ooo thanks for the kind words! Yes ill fix that sentence up asap! Yeah the new and improved Dawn and Gaze actually blows the old one out of the water somehow, I listened to both again today back to back and was so impressed by the changes

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
February 11th 2020


1713 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

need to spend more time with this one, but i definitely think it stands up to some of their best work.



however, i was struck by the feeling that a non-japanese speaker like myself is sort of at a disadvantage. without knowing what the lyrics are, sometimes his vocals (as much as i love them) sort of blend together from song to song. i've never had that feeling listening to envy until now, but there it is.

hogan900
February 11th 2020


3175 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I really want to see the lyrics, but honestly for all I know the lyrics are about how much the vocalist loves watching Sesame Street and eating McDonald’s and I think I would still love this thing. I was going to bring this up in the review but I felt like everyone has talked about the “lyric/vocal” pattern when reviewing envy.

Lucman
February 11th 2020


4721 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

YES 5 REVIEW!! What a magnificent album this is. I'm in love with every note of this thing. And my goodness, "Dawn and Gaze" might be one of the best songs I have ever heard, post-rock, screamo, or otherwise.

Digging: Carissa's Wierd - Ugly But Honest: 1996-1999

hogan900
February 11th 2020


3175 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Dawn and gaze is simply stunning. The reworked vocal track especially towards the end just blows me away now, used to be just the crescendos drums that were masterclass but now the whole thing is brimming with spledor.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
February 11th 2020


1713 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was going to bring this up in the review but I felt like everyone has talked about the “lyric/vocal” pattern when reviewing envy.




very true, and it doesn't bother me too much. but i just hadn't really had that feeling until now, and i've been listening to them for so long now.

Foxcatcher
February 11th 2020


27 Comments


Glad to see I'm not the only one that thinks Dawn and Gaze is a bit of a standout. It's a clear somewhat typical postrock track, but a Grade A one, the likes of which aren't so common these days.

Opening track is an absolute beast, too. That riff around the midpoint is just gorgeous.

Sniff
February 11th 2020


6651 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sick album

zaruyache
February 11th 2020


22833 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

leaked so long ago i forgot it actually came out lol

hogan900
February 11th 2020


3175 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Hey man some of us didn’t see

heyadam
February 11th 2020


3396 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ya I just got to this a couple days ago lol. This is probs closer to a 4 than a 4.5 but I had such a good time with it and I can see it being a 4.5 anyways

hogan900
February 11th 2020


3175 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

it’s a ton of fun man, production alone is so killer

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 11th 2020


21217 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Let the gushings begin.





Digging: Hallas - Conundrum

DarkNoctus
February 11th 2020


11167 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

sooooo goooooddd aaaaaaa

Digging: Noumena - Anima

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 11th 2020


12850 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

--Let the gushings begin.--



together.

hogan900
February 11th 2020


3175 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

This is the best first page anyone could ask for rating wise

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 11th 2020


21217 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is heaven, and we all have made it.

brainmelter
February 11th 2020


7128 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

goin’ in

Digging: Daumier - untitled



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