To Speak, To Listen

Written by: TL on 23/06/2017 13:13:07

If you've heard the Salt Lake City rockers Eidola's sophomore album "Degeneraterra" from 2015, and if you're a post-hardcore fan, chances are that you've been looking for this year's follow-up "To Speak, To Listen" to be the kind of record where the band becomes torch bearers for progressive post-hardcore moving forward. To pick up on where groups like Closure In Moscow and The Fall Of Troy have left off and further explore the boundaries of hyper-technical rock music. And that is in fact exactly what the record does, although it turns out to be not exclusively for the better.

If the references didn't give it away, Eidola makes music that is completely batshit, ivory tower stuff. The sparkling instrumental landscape has tones and levels of complexity that often feel similar to that of European instrumentalists Mutiny On The Bounty, racing ahead with a seemingly boundless creativity and a speed that could take Starship Enterprise to the edge of the galaxy in seconds. The vocals are shared by frontman Andrew Michael Wells and the two guitarists Brandon Bascom and Matthew Dommer, and between them, they lay down a range of throat-scraping screams and high, yet simultaneously airy and textured, clean vocals, the latter of which primarily are in the lead. Imagine here a slightly more "full-bodied" voice closely resembling Dance Gavin Dance's Tilian Pearson.

In their complex dance, the vocals and the instruments frequently dash through movements that are unmistakeable, where your ears stretch to soak it all in and you think "man, this sounds awesome, I can't wait to hear where this song is going". "Tetelestai", "The Familiar" and "Dendrochronology" are good examples to list, of songs that set off seizing your attention instantly and making you excited for what's to come. It's only when Eidola have actually already seized your attention like this, that they start to run into problems.

Because actually, "To Speak, To Listen" is a study in excess. Seemingly intent on topping "Degeneraterra" in every single way, Eidola's modus operandi on this record seems to have been progression, progression and progression in violent defiance of structure. Which is another way of saying that soon after you had that "wow, this is awesome" moment, you're likely to find yourself suddenly going "wow, wait a minute, where am I? What song is this and how far am I on the album?" -And that's a bit of a letdown when each of the otherwise frequent good moments seem to inevitably lead to a bewildered feeling of "is this even the same song?"

Over 12 tracks that span 51 minutes, Eidola simply seem to have been so much in the creative zone that things have gotten away from them somewhat, and the crucial refinement process where you identify which of your ideas are best and build your songs around them in supporting patterns, has been neglected. Consequently, you're likely to strain your brain trying to identify themes to tie various parts of a single song together, while struggling to tell it apart as distinct from the song before and after. And that is rather crucial because for all the jaws "To Speak, To Listen" may be currently dropping upon impact, it's rather labyrinthine listening experience as a whole, figures to hurt its longevity down the stretch.

Download: Tetelestai, The Familiar, Dendrochronology
For The Fans Of: Icarus The Owl, Closure In Moscow, Hail The Sun, The Fall Of Troy, Artifex Pereo
Listen: facebook.com/eidolaUT

Release date 02.06.2017
Blue Swan Records

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