Jan-Simon : The third cd by East Of The Wall, and it starts to become normal. Well, in a way because this New Jersey group still produces a rather bizarre example of experimental and unruly post-metal. But because we have heard the band before on the fully instrumental 'The Farmer's Almanac' and last year's 'Ressentiment' the shock is not that big this time.
But those who take 'The Apologist' as a first introduction to the work of East of the Wall will have to do some work to get used to it. 'The Apologist' continues the route that was taken with 'Ressentiment'. Songs with titles such as 'My Favorite Society Guy', 'Running Tab Of Sweetness' and 'A Functional Tumor' justly presume that East Of The Wall keep themselves far from the standard metal conventions. This is metal for people who read a book occasionally. On second thought that is no real must, because almost half of the album is instrumental. In a way a step back, back to 'The Farmer's Almanac'. Not all of the instrumental tracks are equally good. Some of them ('Horseback Riding In A Bicycle' and 'Nurser Of Small Hurts') sound more like bridges between the real songs than as a proper song. East Of The Wall can still be seen as very reminiscent of Mastodon, even though at this album there is a strong Opeth feel as well. Like that band East Of The Wall knows how to play with dynamics and changes between subdued semi acoustic progrock ('My Favorite Society Guy'), thrashy postmetal with scream vocals and jazzy technometal in strange time signatures ('Running Tab Of Sweetness') without blinking an eye.
Who can listen to 'False Build' and still maintains after hearing this remarkable piece of musical layer cake that metal is primitive music for simple people, should urgently have his hearing - and senses checked. It has been a while since I heard a song this complex and listenable (and the latter is not obvious in this context). Inventive, innovative, virtuoso, genius and more similar adjectives. 'The Apologist' has a very straight forward production that focuses the attention to the miracles that are worked in terms of melody and rhythm. It is by far the best East of the Wall have made. 'The Apologist' is the ideal record for those who miss both Isis and the old Mastodon. A new star in the post-metal sky.