Sunday, 7 February 2010

Technicolor’s press release is riddled with the sorts of hyperbole best described as inextricably pretentious. Language like “Art-core” (not hardcore), “opposing acoustic concepts”, and “scientific law”, already say much about a band with a lot to say, but in the completely wrong way. This not at the very least, proves a massive disservice to Dioramics music (if I’m allowed to mention ‘Dioramics music’ without breaking sweat, aligning them with the stars and some sort of theory about the abacus) misleading you every word.

This is Lifeforce Records first 2010 offering. And, whilst the underwhelment doesn’t take long to kick in, it says much for the attitude of the label. That being, a willingness to publish ambitious projects that wriggle far from the conventional. We can only applaud Lifeforce and Dioramic for their efforts, if even the finishing line hasn’t been quite reached. Technicolor’s content shifts between the hardcore and progressive genres. Their guitar riffing is more of the ‘chug’ nature than chord progressions (mind you, both are present). The vocal floats between clean and higher pitched yelps that are reminiscent of Freak Kitchens, Christer Örtefors. You’ll also find a very strong and talented drum performance present, with the bass throbbing taking the back seat. Samples are often thrown in, adding further substance and depth to the tracks, and invariably Dioramic do experiment with various instruments across the board, which help only to mix things up.

With so many ideas flowing around, Technicolor ultimately fails to come the boil on any of its laurels (its progressive nature, its hardcore nature, and its art). What strikes, as most disappointing is the records broken structure, with each track feeling 50% complete, whilst the other half begins or ends in a complete slouch. The complete material lends a hand at demonstrating the potential for this act, but also reinforces that Dioramic’s ideas have no where near been fully realized. It’s artistic ideas overflow genius, but it’s piecing together into one coherent package, is clumsy and ineffective. This is great art, poor execution.

A 2010 reboot by Lifeforce, that comes across average at best.


Posted by Posted by Andy at 9:49 pm
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Another expansive journey into progressive territory. That’s the simplest way to coin Shifting, ‘progressive’. By its very nature, Shifting is an intricate experience, filled with melancholies, metal sections, ambient soundscapes; subtleties often deaf to the ear of the metallic listener. Providing a reference to lean upon usually helps, but this description certainly won’t. The only real similarities are Tool, Ephel Duath, Isis, and Mogwai. So, whilst diffusing the material mentally may be a challenge, sonically it’s nothing short of superb. The song writing is coherent, solid, and has much fluidity moving in and out of its rich progressions. There’s an unreserved creativity within Shifting, as At The Soundawn incorporate percussive and electronic elements to the production, heightening the experience, which would be woefully diluted otherwise.

In an ocean of ‘obvious’, ‘nearly’ and ‘no cigars’ At The Soundawn appear to find land on Shifting, with their brain of post-rock and progressive metal. Not nearly a perfected album, Shifting does have its faults (melodrama plagues parts of the experience, overly long winded writing style in periods) but none often memorable. On the contrary, each track present is memorable and distinct, to where it is going, and where it wants to take you. Every ingredient heard has had the breadth and scope of experienced and talented artists. Shifting is At The Soundawn’s defining record, so far in their otherwise short-spanning career.


Posted by Posted by Andy at 9:45 pm
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