I Am Alpha And Omega

The Roar & The Whisper

Written by: PP on 11/01/2011 14:32:26

Usually around this time of the year I scour the net for a bunch of awesome releases that somehow passed underneath our radar in the year gone by. This year, I'll start with I Am Alpha And Omega, a Christian experimental post-hardcore band that finally brings along something I've felt the entire 'scene' has been missing for the better part of last two years or so: an original, unique sound that's not easily comparable to the next bunch of tight jeans-wearing, fringe hair-do sporting band around the block.

Or maybe it is: one could argue "The Roar And The Whisper" to sound like the melodic/harsh contrast of Life In Your Way and Silverstein's superb clean vocal dynamics from "Discovering The Waterfront" era and before put together, but that only tells a part of the story, because large parts of the album is heavily dependant on atmospheres. Fact is, few post-hardcore bands I've come across have been able to integrate glowing, space-y atmosphere so well into their music as I Am Alpha And Omega. It gives their sound an artistic, experimental feel, further separating it from Silverstein's somewhat confined take on the genre, or Life In Your Way's posi-post-hardcore approach. That being said, "My Greatest Need" and "Irreversible" share more than just a little in common with Silverstein from the era before they begun to repeat themselves. Even so, the melodies, the quiet/loud dynamic, and the superb choruses sound fresh and original, giving a much-needed, much longed-for different interpretation of the saturated genre.

Though breakdowns are also used to some extent (this being a scene release, after all), they are used sparsely enough to not really have an effect on the album. Consequently, when they do appear, they are a welcome change, a contrast if you will, to the big instrumental spaces that forge the majority of this album. Aside from one or two examples, they are used organically, so they fit the natural flow of the songs instead of pausing the entire structure like in any Attack Attack! song, for instance. Then there are also songs like "Deceiver", a full-blown hardcore piece with harshly screamed vocals and high-octane tempo, but even here the band breaks out into optimistic, lighter instrumentation shortly after, with melodic screams in the vein of Life In Your Way leading the way.

So if you've felt tired and, in part, betrayed by the generic saturation of the 'scene' in recent years, "The Road And The Whisper" will offer a different perspective, one that oozes of promise and potential, one that makes you believe that good new bands do indeed exist in the genre. It is, however, an album with a slightly retrospective tint to its approach to post-hardcore (to early/mid 2000s), so it is possible the newer, breakdown/neon-obsessed scene fans will frown upon this review. Any fan of Silverstein's older material, however, should already be en-route to the record store.

8

Download: The Roar And The Whisper, Irreversible
For the fans of: Silverstein, Life In Your Way
Listen: Myspace

Release date 17.08.2010
Tragic Hero Records

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