From A Second Story Window


Written by: PP on 06/01/2007 15:32:36

Have you ever heard death metal played the metalcore way? No? That's also why I think Ohio based experimental act From A Second Story Window are currently experiencing somewhat of an identity problem. They're great musicians but as their sophomore album "Delenda" combines metalcore, hardcore, death metal and experimentalism together (deathcore) over ten tracks and just over 42 minutes, the end result sounds unfocused and scattered, however superbly the instruments are played on each track.

Take the intro track "Acknowledgement" with its piano introduction as an example. It builds up slowly with an open ended riff creeping in, which opens straight into the From First To Last-style opening chords of "Soft Green Fields". This only lasts for a few seconds though, as the distortion and double bass drums jump in and we're facing a devastating breakdown, and the song transforms into death metal with vocalist Will Jackson's growls alternating between throat and lung-based growl depths. "A Piece Of History Written In English" follows up with precise instrumentation all over the track, immediately drawing parallels to bands like Converge and The Dillinger Escape Plan, and is composed strangely as the climax of the track is what starts it off. The mixture of these two described styles dominates most of the album, which is unfortunate, as it becomes monotoneus in the long run. Will's throat-based growling often sounds like he has some water stuck in his windpipe (hence the gargling sound), and even if it works on the first and second track, it quickly becomes too chaotic to fit the almost mathematically precisely played instruments.

From A Second Story Window are at their strongest on the quieter and more melodic tracks like the entirely instrumental "For Those Lost..." and the overly melodic "Mourning For Mourning". These are the tracks where clean singing contrasts the growling well, and the blast-beat dominated instrumentation is always challanged by the melodic guitars. I fail to understand why the band doesn't opt for that instead of the senseless chaos that is in tracks like "Oracles And Doorsteps" or "The Crusher". Although the latter tracks have clear references to bands like Converge and The Dillinger Escape Plan, they fail to have enough structure in them. There's just too much going on at once, and consequently even the tenth listening session leaves the listener confused over the ten-plus breakdowns and switches in pitch and pace of vocals and the instruments. Personally, I find From A Second Story Window a perfect example of the 'core' mania gone way too far. Deathcore? Give me a break.


Download: A Piece Of History Written In English, Ghosts Over Japan
For the fans of: Ion Dissonance, The Red Chord, Converge, The Dillinger Escape Plan
Listen: Myspace

Release date 20.11.2006
Metal Blade
Provided by Target ApS

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