Metal Review – East of the Wall – The Apologist (2011)

East of the Wall - The ApologistEast of the Wall is back with The Apologist and makes the attempt of being able to reinvent themselves once again. This is one band that progresses year after year and release after release. With the release of The Apologist, they put together a nice mix of progressive metal and extreme metal. There are plenty of hits and only a few misses on this one. Compared to their previous efforts, I am really getting into The Apologist more.

While the album begins to simmer towards the end of this release, there are a lot of strong tracks that will get you going. Take a listen and enjoy it thoroughly.

The Apologist Track Listing:
01. Naif
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 World
09. A Functional Tumor
10. Nurser Of Small Hurts
11. Whiskey Sipper
12. Underachiever

The Apologist is the apex of EAST OF THE WALL’s lumbering history. This is a group that reinvents itself with each new album, a band whose members scurry off to a myriad of other projects, and return home with the scavenged spoils of new ideas. The distance between 2008’s Farmer’s Almanac and 2010’s Ressentiment is a chasm wide enough. When adding in the perspective of past and present musical excursions, such as The Postman Syndrome, El Drugstore, Argonauts, Day Without Dawn, and other related extracurricular endeavors, the breadth becomes harrowing, and vertigo ensues.

So now we come to The Apologist, the point in which these diverging paths meet and race towards the meridian. It merges the more melodic instrumental movements of the band’s earlier material with the aggression of its latter works. Never has the band moved as far with such ease. Songs span multiple tracks and titles, and encompass a landscape of sonic topography.

The vocal elements, explored for the first time on Ressentiment, have been chiseled into a well-honed tool, and yet used more sparingly, often digging into the mix instead of towering above it. Yet when they rise, they do so with more authority. The most thundering moments of heaviness have taken on a new sheen as well, with an often terrifying beauty in contrast to Ressentiment’s dissonant harshness. And in remembrance of Farmer’s Almanac’s sweeping vistas, there is a larger focus on purely instrumental sojourns.

The Apologist is the zenith of EAST OF THE WALL’s continued development, bridging its divergent routes and establishing the band’s identity as one of the most adventurous yet powerful groups of the genre, whatever genre it is that you attempt to fit the band into.

The Apologist was recorded by Andrew Schneider at Translator Audio in Brooklyn (Cave In, Pelican, Keelhaul, Unsane, Rosetta) and mastered by Nick Zampiello and Rob Gonella at New Alliance East in Boston (Converge, Cave In, Junius, Keelhaul, Red Chord). Artwork was handled by Eric Nyffeler at Doe Eyed Design.

Seth Rheam: drums
Brett Bamberger: bass and vocals
Chris Alfano: guitar and vocals
Kevin Conway: guitar and vocals
Matt Lupo, guitar and vocals.

East of the Wall