Saturday, October 1, 2011

Poison the Well - 2009 The Tropic Rot

Band : Poison the Well
Album : The Tropic Rot
Release Year : 2009
Genre : Post-Hardcore | Metalcore

Tracklist :
1. Exist Underground
2. Sparks It Will Rain
3. Cinema
4. Pampelmoosse
5. Who Doesn't Love A Good Dismemberment
6. Antarctica Inside Me
7. When You Lose I Lose As Well
8. Celebrate the Pyre
9. Are You Anywhere
10. Makeshift Clay You
11. Without You and One Other I Am Nothing

Despite all this excessive admiration, this album is not without flaws. Many lyrics seem forced and come off as tacky, such as the butterflies bit in Sparks it Will Rain and the opening and later repeated line in Are You Anywhere?. This is unfortunate because the lyrics are otherwise spectacular, far above average for the genre. Sparks it Will Rain is also the most boring track on the album, but my biggest quip is with Celebrate the Pyre, which had potential to instill a load of adrenaline into the latter half of the album. The song is driven by some initially nice guitar work, but it’s too simple, tedious, and an ensuing abbreviated chorus dooms the song. The band was too conservative here, and lack the effort displayed everywhere else. In the end the main thing holding the album back though is its lack of a transcendent feeling, something accomplished by an As the Roots Undo or, for Converge enthusiasts, a Jane Doe. It is outstanding but has the potential to be forgotten come the end of the year and everyone’s favorite “best of” lists.

While some fans that in the past had trouble letting go of the breakdown ridden Poison the Well will more likely enjoy August Burns Red’s Constellations over this, hardcore aficionados will certainly appreciate the band’s latest release. Regardless of which genre it falls under (this is such an amalgam of genres there are even hints of screamo, more so than the run of the mill post-hardcore/metalcore album), the band finally created the album they had through previous albums been working towards. Far from a masterpiece, it is still a worthy addition to their now expansive discography. Looking back on their past trends, one could suspect another change in direction for their next album assuming they don’t call it quits. Either way, this album slays, and merits a listen or two so long as you can handle any sort of mildly heavy music in your diet. -Justin Taslak

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