REVIEWS | FEATURES | DEPARTMENTS | BOOMBOX | PODCAST | MISC
SEARCH:
splendid > reviews > 9/3/2005
Fear Before the March of Flames
Fear Before the March of Flames
Art Damage
Equal Vision


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "Should Have Stayed in the Shallows"

Buy me now
Art Damage is impressively mature and exhaustingly rocking. The band's constant shifts in tempo and time signature create volatile composites of destructive noise -- a vehicle for their poignant political commentary.

As the album opens, squalling guitar feedback envelops you like a barbed-wire cage, erupting in bursts of fiery six-string ferocity through which lead screamer David Marion's gut-wrenching screams slice like a rusty but red-hot sword. Marion's howls are largely incoherent, but their energy alone is enough to transmit the band's great discontentment. The lyrics are included in the liner notes in case you want to follow along: "If we stick ourselves with syringes and scrape our lungs with dollar bills, we can forge a roof that will hold us in and keep them out."

"Should Have Stayed In The Shallows"' dueling guitars mirror Marion and lead guitarist Adam Fisher's vocal interplay. It's during these shared vocal stretches that the band is easiest to appreciate; rather than being blown away by the band's energy, which is certainly impressive, you can take a breath and enjoy the way the various pieces fit together. Technical guitar work, ball-busting percussiveness and blood-curdling screams and wails gouge temporary footholds into the music. "A Tyrant Meets His Makers"' melodic Final Fantasyesque synths offer a minute-long respite -- then "The God Awful Truth" arrives, with its high-octane 11-beat phrase verse and multitude of parts. In short, it's a math rocker's wet dream.

The 30-minute Art Damage is just succinct enough to be absorbed in a single sitting, despite its occasionally overwhelming energy. It's so invigorating and cathartic, you'll be ensnared in no time.



REVIEWS:

12/31/2005:
Ladytron

Brian Cherney

Tomas Korber

UHF

The Rude Staircase

Dian Diaz

12/30/2005:
Helloween

PTI

The Crimes of Ambition

Karl Blau

Rosetta

Gary Noland

12/29/2005:
Tommy and The Terrors

Blacklisted

Bound Stems

Gary Noland

Carlo Actis Dato and Baldo Martinez

Quatuor Bozzoni

12/28/2005:
The Positions

Comet Gain

Breadfoot featuring Anna Phoebe

Secret Mommy

The Advantage

For a Decade of Sin: 11 Years of Bloodshot Records

12/27/2005:
The Slow Poisoner

Alan Sondheim & Ritual All 770

Davenport

Beaumont

Five Corners Jazz Quintet

Cameron McGill

Drunk With Joy

12/26/2005:
10 Ft. Ganja Plant

The Hospitals

Ross Beach

Big Star

The Goslings

Lair of the Minotaur

Koji Asano



Splendid looks great in Firefox. See for yourself.
Get Firefox!


FEATURES:
Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste probably didn't even know that he'd be the subject of Jennifer Kelly's final Splendid interview... but he is!



DEPARTMENTS:
That Damn List Thing
& - The World Beyond Your Stereo
Bookshelf
Pointless Questions
File Under
Pointless Questions
& - The World Beyond Your Stereo


ARCHIVE:
Read reviews from the last 30, 60, 90 or 120 days, or search our review archive.

It's back! Splendid's daily e-mail update will keep you up to date on our latest reviews and articles. Subscribe now!
Your e-mail address:    
REVIEWS | FEATURES | DEPARTMENTS | BOOMBOX | PODCAST | MISC
SEARCH:
All content ©1996 - 2011 Splendid WebMedia. Content may not be reproduced without the publisher's permission.