Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Cetacean - "BREACH | SUBMERGE" EP (Review)

By: TJ Kliebhan

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 29/01/2016
Label:  Apes Who Looked Up



Cetacean seem like they are still working on discovering their own personal sound and BREACH | SUBMERGE was more ambitious a project than they were ready for. The band is undoubtedly talented and Cetacean flash both technical playing and an impressive vocal range from Benigno, but creatively the band is not there yet


“Breach | Submerge” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Earth is a Whisper
2). Relationships Deteriorate
3). Outpour I. II. III.

The Review:

Progressive rock and metal are two genres that would have always blended together well. While both project an image of nerd culture both are also incredibly technical and have lots of crossover techniques such as time signature swaps and grandiose fantastical presentation. In order for this seemingly obvious formula to be outright successful the genres need to be integrated seamlessly and the transitions should feel rational and judicious. On Los Angeles act Cetacean’s most recent effort BREACH | SUBMERGE, the band never truly finds the ideal balance between the two.

BREACH | SUBMERGE is a three track record with all songs eclipsing the ten minute mark. While none of these tracks are necessarily bad, the tracks struggle to distinguish themselves as well as offer any moments of innovation or distinction. The three tracks offer trips through doom metal, prog rock, and rough aggressive vocal patches, but none of these elements are synced very nicely. Every passage of these songs feels like its own outlier rather than a sum of the whole. The transitions are clumsy and seem to come at random. The prog elements are just so miniscule compared to the doom tracks that it makes the progressive rock elements Cetacean go for seem forced. These tracks have ten to fourteen minutes of time yet the listener only experiences two or three changes in tempo. When this is compounded over such long tracks it only seems self-serving. The songs begin to turn into a bit of a trudge to get through.

BREACH | SUBMERGE is a banal record for too much of its extended run time. There are numerous acts that do many of these styles better individually and in a style that blends genres. Cetacean seem like they are still working on discovering their own personal sound and BREACH | SUBMERGE was more ambitious a project than they were ready for. The band is undoubtedly talented and Cetacean flash both technical playing and an impressive vocal range from Trae Malone, but creatively the band is not there yet. The tracks are too segmented and create a disjointed album with tracks that seem too sewn together.


“Breach | Submerge” is available here


Band info: bandcamp || facebook

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