I stumbled into their second album “Ressentiment” last year and it was (another) love at first listening. Matt Lupo – guitar and vocals, Kevin Conway – guitar and vocals, Chris Alfano – guitar and vocals, Brett Bamberger – bass guitar and vocals, and Seth Rheam – drums find their own special way to merge death metal intensity with hardcore rawness adding progressive and sometimes jazz elements into their complex, but breathing compositions. They use the name East of the Wall since 2007, although actually they have roots back till 1996 when they formed The Postman Syndrome, change their name into Day Without Dawn in 2006 and they are also involved in two other projects: Dangerous Cowboy and El Drugstore.
While “Ressentiment” reminded me of the contorted universe of Voivod from their “Nothingface” era, “The Apologist” seems to be more settled and balanced, but still heavy and kicking.
Cynic back in the 80’s open the path with their brilliant “Focus” and now a whole new generation grew up and delivering extremely intense and creative materials. The Dillinger Escape Plan, Between The Buried And Me, Rolo Tomassi, Called To Arms, The Black Dahlia Murder , Chiodos, Gladiator, Converge, Haste the Day, Every Time I Die, Bleeding Through, Chiodos, Asleigh Stake, Just Like Vinyl and not at least East of the Wall are few of these new voices coming through and claiming their place. And the crown belongs to them.
“The Apologist” seems to be a journey while its songs melting into one universe to explore. The songs are not even stations, eventually only signs to show directions. Although we have 12 songs, I like to think of “The Apologist” as one single complex composition and listen it as such.
02. Linear Failure
03. My Favorite Society Guy
04. False Build
05. Precious Memories
06. The Apologist
07. Running Tab of Sweetness
08. Horseback Riding In a Bicycle
09. A Functional Tumor
10. Nurser of Small Hurts
11. Whiskey Sipper
The heaviest and most intense moments are perfectly balanced with smoother, spacier progressive passages, harshness and experimental progressions are making a perfect match here. Brutal vocals and quiet, inner searching passages are followed by extensive instrumental constructions in a constant and intense flow in harmony and perfect balance.
Words are pale and pointless here, “The Apologist” needs to be listen and felt. Beautiful and intense fits simultaneously this album and once again, listening becomes an unique experience.