Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Album Review: Mental Architects - Patience, Communcation, Understanding, Go!

My good friend Sean Rizzo has decided to devote his time to us as a guest writer. Though he doesn't have the time to be a full staff writer, he will once in a while be donating his writing to us. Be ready to see some big changes in Muzik Dizcovery over the next week or so, and be ready to see a bunch of new names on the screen.

I've been at a quandary about how to approach this review for a few days now, and you'll see why momentarily. Hailing from Sofia, Bulgaria, Mental Architects are something I like to call a blender band. Most bands who take on this characteristic are side project supergroups, and it's often to their detriment. Bands like Isles and Glaciers and even The Sound of Animals Fighting on their second album fall victim to a destructive tidal wave of pent up creativity. The music lacks cohesion, the various components clash more often than not, and it's not uncommon to have a very difficult time enjoying the warfare between all the creativity that couldn't take place in a main project.

All of this begs a certain question. What will it take for something so wildly creative to mesh into something enjoyable? Mental Architects have found a way to pull it off by forming opposite of the way supergroups do. They are like-minded, not blinded by the heightened pride that comes from being a big shot name in a previous band. They allow their talents to weave and layer as it comes naturally. Now you see my quandary. How exactly should I go about describing a band that blends many of the best elements of post-rock, emo, industrial, progressive metal, and post-hardcore so effectively? I've decided to just let the music speak for itself and act more as a narrator than a commentator. Get ready to listen and buckle up.

"Count To Eleven" opens up with a dark post-rock vibe and continues with The Mars Volta-esque percussion. It continues with some accentuating melodies expected from the desert rock scene, taking on some dream pop attributes toward the end. "Ash On Your Tongue" comes next, kicking things off with a very heavy influence from early post-hardcore, morphing back into the familiar dark post-rock jamming, and finishes with some nervy metalcore riffs. The third track, "We Shall Make Each Other", maintains an eerie industrial vibe throughout with a dash of more Mew influence for flavor.

The final track, "Go!" was what initially garnered my attention. Immediately we are affronted by Mental Architects' proggy center. Mathy melodies warm us up for about a minute, after which a very djenty prog metal-esque bass groove ala Cloudkicker gets your head banging. The mathy guitars soon return and form something reminiscent of The Fall of Troy's In The Unlikely Event, while still maintaining an atmospheric feel as the track builds and ends.

RIYL: A strange combination of The Fall of Troy, At The Drive-In, The Appleseed Cast, Nine Inch Nails, Yawning Man, Mew, and Cloudkicker.


Track List:
1. Count To Eleven
2. Ash On Your Tongue
3. We Shall Make Each Other
4. Go!

More reviews by Sean Rizzo found here

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