Friday, August 31, 2012

Album Review: Deathmole - Advances

Album Rating: B+
I know I've been obsessing over Deathmole a little too much since I've been at MD, but there's been a lot of really great music coming from the one-man effort. The new album, Advances, plays off of what the previous album, Meade's Army brought to the Deathmole sound a month or so earlier. It's darker, more aggressive, and doesn't provide a clean cut, obvious melody for listeners to fall back on to get to the theme of the song. Advances is an intense, powerful work of post-metal that's definitely noteworthy if you want a more-than-decent gap-closer for the next Rosetta or Pelican release.

Like I said in my introduction, there isn't a very easily accessible melody in a lot of the tracks off of Advances. However, that doesn't mean that the listen isn't rewarding to listen to. Jeph Jacques actually writes songs off of Advances rewarding those that are able to find the musical value in a slowly building, but eventually chaotically cathartic, track. Songs like "Acoustic" and "75" find themselves almost classifiable as tech-death, being very articulate in the beginning, with extensive low guitar chugging and an intensive and vital drum line pushing the melody, without a lot of clarity. However, Jacques provides a beautiful mid-section and outro to nearly all of his songs that bring an ample worth to the song that listeners who are deterred in 30 seconds of a song may never find with Deathmole's music.

I'm not saying that there aren't tracks where this actually happens. "Perennial" and "Corruption" are, to me and probably to a great many post-metal fans out there, instantly likable, because there's so much proffered forth from beginning to end. However, these are songs that tend to provide an instant gratification that a less moderate, drudging song might not give the listener. It's the subtle mixing of tracks that provide Deathmole a sound that keeps me, as well as other fans, coming back again and again for more. Well, that, and the sound. The fantastic, genre-blending metal sound that stretches from metalcore to death metal to post-metal and back to technical death metal and then into prog metal and then back into post-metal...sorry, getting ahead of myself. Well, you know what I mean. It's a broad sound. And a unique one: similar themes are brought up with different songs and albums, but it's never exactly the same thing, and it's always presented in a way that provides a new look at things. Jacques is a really creative songwriter, and I applaud him for that.

Who will really enjoy Advances? Well, I did say it was broadly written. It doesn't mean it's an easy listen, though. One needs patience in order to get through this album. It takes time, with the shortest song length being somewhere in the region of 4:30. However, it is spectacularly rewarding, and the sounds that Deathmole outputs in each one of these nine songs rounds one another out so well that a full listen of the album is physically satisfying. You can see where each song takes the next, and how the mood changes between them. The metal does get gritty and heavy, so be warned. But, patient metal fans rejoyce! You have found your album.

You can find Advances right here, as well as the rest of the Deathmole albums on the Bandcamp page.

Track Listing:
01) Acoustic
02) Perennial
03) Resource Crisis
04) Ghouls
05) Subtraction
06) Corruption
07) 75
08) Final
09) Thanks!

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