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Envy - A Dead Sinking Story CD (album) cover



Post Rock/Math rock

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4 stars This is a very emotive release by one of the most distinctive sounds in post-rock. Envy harnesses the musical aggression and gutteral vocals of hardcore to juxtapose the chaotic and the serene & the ugly and the beautiful. A Dead Sinking Story is the group's most accomplished work to date; while its predecessor was a bit too aggressive and its successor is a bit too, well, unaggressive, this one has a near-perfect mix. While we shouldn't look down on the albums that sandwich this one, especially the latter, Insomniac Doze, we must appreciate the singularity of this release. Never before has a band melded these sounds & styles as Envy does (and they do it very well, I should add). It's unlikely that any band, even Envy themselves will make a record quite like this again.

The record is very powerful, but it is imperfect. Sometimes songs are stretched a little too long, the two soundscape tracks are mostly ineffective (also a bit too long for what they do), and the vocals could have used a bit more variety. The vocalist defaults to screaming anytime the music gets loud, and sometimes screams when it's quiet. It's not inherently bad, but the screamed vocals can get monotonous. The sung vocals are a nice addition to the soft parts, and it's difficult to imagine lead vocals sung over many of the other parts, but maybe some backing vocals would have worked very nicely. It's not up to me to say what they should have done in this regard, though. I'm happy with the vocals as they are for the most part; the only real complaint is the monotnous screamed tone.

Nevertheless, A Dead Sinking Story is a great record. It's unique and it's powerful. Comfortable fans of standard post-rock may not have a need to hear this, and if they're not into screamed vocals at all, they probably won't be converted after hearing it either. Post-rock fans looking for something fresh, and any adventurous music fan looking for something really emotional without making them look like a pansy really ought to check this out. Insomniac Doze may be the easier starting point, but A Dead Sinking Story will prove to be the more versatile and memorable of the two. In any case, the music of Envy can be a very cathartic experience, and it's cetainly worth hearing.

Report this review (#150782)
Posted Wednesday, November 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars A Dead Sinking Story is definitely one of the most dark, emotional albums I've ever heard. Its powerful post rock melodies and hardcore rasp vocals make this album a unique dark, emotional experience. Clearly I must say that I don't have a clue of what the lyrics mean and evidently I'm not a fan of screamo. In fact I've never liked them, but the melodies are so intensifying that I could hardly ignore the vocals.

Each song is filled with passages filled with angry vocal lines and small post rock sections in which the singer speaks (most of the time) oddly instead of singing. But what caught most my attention were the guitar melodies. I think this would be the most standout point of this album ever since the vocals get a bit exhausting after a while. Even in the soft sections Tetsuya Fukagawa has to include the harsh screamo vocals and in my opinions it ruins the whole atmosphere (something I couldn't ignore)

The first song that caught my attention was in fact first song in the album: Chain Wondering Deeply. It's hardcore guitar riffing and the post rock like passages sound extremely emotional and appealing. Another standout song would have to be Unrepairable Gentleness. This song unlike Chain Wondering Deeply which starts immediately in an explosive manner with very intensive guitar riffs. The next song Go Mad and Mark, though it starts with a post rock melody the vocals really ruined the experience for me here. It just sounded "nicely" up until the vocal lines start. In my opinion these are the only good songs that could make the album worth getting or even listen to. Yet in general most of the songs have the same atmosphere and based structure, going from heavy to soft and vice versa.

In overall this isn't a terrible album but the harsh screamo vocals really ruined the experience for me. That being said if you're a fan of emotional music, and don't mind angry screamo vocals you might like this one. Not highly recommended.

A 2.5 for me! Not a bad album.

Report this review (#166089)
Posted Tuesday, April 8, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars To sew this album in 2.98 is heartbreaking for me. This is one of the first international bands that I actually searched for lyrics to understand their music. The album to me was one big emotional rollercoaster, even with the screaming, I seemed to connect with the vocalist in the message he seeked to portray. It's been a while since I had this feeling at all. This album is a breath of fresh air in the post hardcore scene and should be listed as one of the best 00's screamo/post hardcore albums too date. From start, Chain Wandering Deeply, we see an emotional rollercoaster with Excellent use of melodies, with Color oF fetters, we see the vocalist at his peak screaming ending with a will screaming to ashes, beautiful as it is brutal.

Envy deserve to be remembered for years to come in the post hardcore scene.

Report this review (#2243240)
Posted Sunday, August 11, 2019 | Review Permalink

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