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Our Survival Depends On Us : Painful Stories Told With A Passion For Life

An interesting album made of rich soundscapes, full of sensitivity.

Our Survival Depends On Us... Or how to spoil a good musical project by employing a bad singer. This is unfortunately what I retain of their second full-length once the last song fades away: good music, nice atmosphere, nice composition work, bad singer. Really, he should take some singing lessons. His husky voice is attractive and he tries some relevant wailing or aggressive tones always at the right time; he has a sense for music, for emotion, but the technique,he doesn't possess it. And this is some big problem.

As said before, 'Painful Stories Told With A Passion For Life' is not their first try. Musically, you can feel it. Each track has its own identity. This is well crafted even if sometimes the scope they obviously try to develop is hindered by an instrumentation that appears a bit too 'calculated', if I may put it that way. This is a feeling that isnít easy to explain; it lacks boldness, in a sense.

Stylistically, I won't classify the group as Post Hardcore as I read everywhere, neither as Sludge! I would simply describe their music (at least on this album) as down-tempo atmospheric metal. At any rate, it is devoid of the typical hardcore screams and it is indeed full of moody, calm, sometimes even thoughtful moments.

The tone is dark, grave and never fake-sounding. The band shows a real talent in building interesting and well-structured compositions. The textures are rich, the rhythms varied. You have anguished ballads ('Angel Ranger'), desolate passages ('Collecting Tears of the Phoenix', a very good progressive song),some convincing intensity (The Shadowstalker), simple folky melodies (And 'Man Became a Living Soul') and a big dose of doomy feeling upon the whole thing. The album is dense, the musicians do not get lost in endless digressions which could lead to boredom. The introduction of violin, keyboard and even dijeridoo parts smartly enriches the palette of atmospheres.

The weak impact of the lead voice is luckily often rectified by the use of a second, more profound one. The echo effect is effective; failing to bring charisma, it adds however a welcome strength of conviction to the music which is already quite powerful in itself.

'Painful Stories Told With A Passion For Life' is an interesting album; it is made of rich soundscapes, full of sensitivity (what the ugly cover art clearly doesnít convey).
Two recommendations are thus to be made:
1. to the singer: stop it or take lessons, it would truly be a good investment.
2. to the artwork designer: stop it or take lessons, it would truly be a good investment.

Reviewer's rating: 5.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Last Act of Bravery
2. I Will not Obey
3. Angel Ranger
4. The Shadowstalker
5. Collecting Tears of the Phoenix
6. And Man Became a Living Soul

Duration : Approx. 40 minutes

Visit the Our Survival Depends On Us bandpage.

Reviewed on 16-03-2009 by Bertrand marchal
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