East of the Wall
Redaction Artifacts
Translation Loss Records
Street: 10.29
East of the Wall = BTBAM + Intronaut
Other reviews for this record toss around words like “progressive masterminds” and even a “top album of the year,” but I don’t feel it. This album is one big derivative showcase: I hear a shit-ton of Opeth, Tommy Giles, Mastodon and The Ocean among others, so there’s an element of comfortable familiarity when I listen, but that familiarity is at the expense of any originality the band might be capable of. I enjoyed the musicianship more than the vocals, which seem somehow out of place—or maybe strained—within the compositions. If you’re looking for prog metal with smooth, jazzy moments, mathcore-style acrobatics and heapings of transitions, I can give you a generous list of bands doing it better than East of the Wall. Prog and post-metal have never been bigger, so there’s no reason to settle for mere competency. The album’s technically positive and even worth the listen, but definitely lacks coherency and soul. –Megan Kennedy