SOM
The Shape of Everything


4.0
excellent

Review

by Brendan Schroer CONTRIBUTOR (209 Reviews)
January 21st, 2022 | 40 replies


Release Date: 01/21/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Healing metal.

The first moments of The Shape of Everything’s opener “Moment” communicate the record’s vision and style perfectly. Warm clusters of shoegaze-esque guitar chords hover over a wide chasm of downtuned metal riffs, calling to mind the most atmospheric moments by Deftones and Devin Townsend while still retaining a unique identity. SOM’s self-proclaimed mission is to “leave this place better than we found it”, and through the lush melodies and positive vibes of their debut LP, I believe them. Fronted by Connecticut native Will Benoit, the group allow their shoegaze and post-metal elements to mingle and intertwine, merging into one cohesive sound; the record doesn’t act as a juxtaposition of the two styles as much as it proves the effectiveness of fusing them together near-seamlessly. If anything, the heaviness of the rhythm guitars acts as a side dish to the ethereal leads that provide the album’s true ambiance.

One of the most striking features of SOM’s debut from the get-go is its length: only 34 minutes, spread across eight tracks. It’s certainly a lean runtime, and there’s not much variation in the song lengths. However, rest assured that the band manage to make excellent use of the brief amount of time they have; The Shape of Everything remains consistently engaging and fresh, both stylistically and from a quality perspective. “Animals”, for instance, takes the hazy melodies and droning riffs of “Moment” and dives even deeper with touches of airy lead guitars and a distorted spoken-word segment. Meanwhile, late-album cuts “Wrong” and “Heart Attack” put a bit more emphasis on those cavernous metal riffs that anchor the experience as a whole; the latter in particular sounds quite reminiscent of the heavier moments of Deftones’ Saturday Night Wrist - “Hole in the Earth” and the closing riff of “Beware” quickly come to mind.

All of this is accompanied by highly detailed and ornate production values courtesy of Benoit himself. The Shape of Everything sounds pretty damn immaculate, providing a perfect balance between a metallic crunch and shoegaze textures; every time I’ve replayed the record, I’ve noticed small details that could have easily been missed upon first listen. For instance: the swirling guitar leads that hang over the climax of “Clocks” while Benoit is singing, or the incredibly subtle ebbs and flows in volume that mark “Shape” as a whole. Still, with all of this in mind, I do believe that more stylistic variation could benefit SOM’s work in the future. The 34-minute runtime does keep the music focused and tight, but I could see the record getting a bit boring and monotonous if it were longer and more sprawling. If Benoit and company are shooting for a more expansive tracklist (or more expansive arrangements for that matter) next time around, it might be wise for them to bring a few more tricks to the table - perhaps a few more aggressive riffs or soft ambient passages for greater dynamic contrast.

However, what they delivered here is still impressive. There’s something to be said for a band who decide to bring out the positivity and healing properties in a genre that’s generally known for intensity and distortion, and SOM accomplish this very nicely. The Shape of Everything is warm, inviting, and just plain beautiful; it may not be quite as sprawling or ambitious as some of its creators’ other post-metal contemporaries, but it still manages to be a compelling experience in the short runtime it has. There’s a bright musical future here, and one can only hope that SOM successfully capitalize on it.



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user ratings (61)
3.3
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Koris
Contributing Reviewer
January 21st 2022


14795 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lots of good post-rock/metal coming out recently :]

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
January 21st 2022


17107 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

Been listening to this on and off for the last month-ish. It's good for sure.

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
January 22nd 2022


3798 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review Koris! Gave this a first listen earlier today, good stuff, it was more shoegazey than I was expecting, and it works.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
January 22nd 2022


27961 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sweet rev for a sweet album.



I wouldn't say this has pristine production though, it's muddy, dirty and crusty, (I know, Shoegaze, am I right)



Whether it is intentional or not., Idk, but it could be better imo.

Digging: Ethel Cain - Preacher's Daughter

Tundra
January 22nd 2022


7310 Comments


Didnt expect to see a review for this. This is good

Koris
Contributing Reviewer
January 22nd 2022


14795 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Gnocchi: Yeah, I've finally been using the weekly release list a bit more now ;]



@Sunnyvale: Thanks! And for sure, I was definitely expecting more post than shoegaze, but both were well-balanced here



@Dewi: Thank you! Idk, I guess to me it sounded pretty clean, at least compared to a lot of the post-metal I usually listen to. Or maybe "ornate" would have been a better word in this case, I suppose



@Tundra: Good stuff for sure. I'm definitely glad I checked it out

DreamAgain
January 22nd 2022


2169 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Lots of good post-rock/metal coming out recently :]"



Like wat

Demon of the Fall
January 22nd 2022


24590 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I’d like to know the answer to this as well.

Digging: Gospel - The Loser

Koris
Contributing Reviewer
January 22nd 2022


14795 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

There’s this, as well as the new albums by 40 Watt Sun, Toundra, Dean Hamilton (and I’m considering reviewing that one, pretty interesting stuff), and a pretty nice shoegaze-influenced EP by Robin Guthrie called Springtime, just to name a few

Koris
Contributing Reviewer
January 22nd 2022


14795 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Granted, those are all in the post rock category instead of post metal, but still

Demon of the Fall
January 22nd 2022


24590 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Fair enough, this smelled pretty mid on initial inspection, but I’ll probably try again. Need to give 40 Watt another shot as well.

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
January 22nd 2022


13397 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I heard a single for this a while back, might cruise by.

botb
January 22nd 2022


15262 Comments


I need to sit with this more, members of caspian, Rosetta, and even CTTS

Demon of the Fall
January 22nd 2022


24590 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Those are some decent bands.

botb
January 22nd 2022


15262 Comments


You guys need to listen to fucking shy low’s last record for real. Most dynamic post metal/post rock I’ve heard in a minute

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
January 22nd 2022


17107 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

I do like when threads turn into a rec fest.

DreamAgain
January 22nd 2022


2169 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album is frustrating as hell. Lots of really great moments surrounded by completely forgettable ones. Like the bridge and closer to Animals is great and the rest of the song is trash. They refuse to lean in to the P/R aspects more..



Clocks is pretty amazing though.

RogueNine
January 23rd 2022


5003 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Oh man this was. . .underwhelming.

botb
January 23rd 2022


15262 Comments


“ I do like when threads turn into a rec fest.”

Imagine talking music on a music website

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
January 23rd 2022


13397 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is solidly aight



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