A long epic track going well into double figures time wise is never the most immediate persuasion here to be honest so it is fair to say that the debut album from We All Die (Laughing) with its single thirty three minute track was not the most instant appetiser and top of the list to cover. The fact that Thoughtscanning was released by Kaotoxin Records, a label which had a glorious year in releasing impressive inventive propositions in 2013, did encourage a dive into the proposition offered, plus the fact that the band consists of multi-talented musician and composer Déhà (C.O.A.G., Maladi) and vocalist Arno Strobl of Carnival In Coal and site favourites 6:33. It will prove to be one of the wisest decisions made this year at The RR and by anyone who immerse within what is an extraordinary experience and towering creative tempest. The album is a masterful enticement and admittedly challenging encounter but one all should bravely embrace.
Creating a continually expanding landscape of emotionally drenched progressive dark metal, but with so much more to its imaginative adventure, Thoughtscanning is a piece of work which leaves the richest satisfaction and experience in its wake. We All Die (Laughing) first emerged as guest musicians on Eye Of Solitude’s EP The Deceit, their offering now reissued as a bonus track on the band’s recently released excellent album Canto III. Now the French-Bulgarian link-up fully unveils itself as a creative force to be reckoned with and incited by with their debut.
A long guitar casts the first coaxing, its melodramatic voice and resonance a lone figure in a barren atmosphere but as potently evocative and imagination sparking as you could wish for. It has an essence of early-The Cure to its call which is enhanced with a wash of minimalistic melodic enticement and great earthy throaty tones from the bass. It is a deliciously magnetic entrance which is so powerful that when flames of skilfully sculpted guitar light the air a tinge of disappointment washes over emotions just for a second or two.
From here on in the song slowly but clearly expands with its every second, the ever appealing vocals of Strobl adding another provocative aspect to the already compelling persuasion. Stretching further into its dark shadow drenched heart, the clean melodically built vocals merge with sanity bruising squalls whilst an intensity coats and increases the urgency of the sounds even when they find new avenues to slowly and elegantly investigate within the at times bordering on psychotic expulsion of emotional toxicity. It is impossible to clearly represent all that is going on and unleashed within Thoughtscanning but sure to say musically the track evolves through webs and mixtures of progressive and black metal, avant-garde and melodic death metal, doom and jazz metal with more besides, every minute a new recipe and provocation impossible to tear away from.
As suggested earlier vocally the track also is a vibrantly shifting temptation, smooth melodic tones moving into guttural torrents with ease and in other moments creating a dark shadow through intensive deliveries which simply shape the syllables into an impacting and thought provoking narrative. Not for the first time in his career Strobl brings moments which are pure Mike Patton like to the persistently evocative adventure and in union with Déhà creates a maelstrom of seduction and venom which is as thrilling and compelling as the music surrounding their bait.
The down side to the album?…well it is so long that it will definitely not suit all but it would be amiss not to say that there is never a moment where it is predictable and does not have senses and attention on alert for more breath-taking insurgences by the album into emotions and to be honest the track simply flies by, never feeling as long as it obviously is. Thoughtscanning is a thoroughly enthralling and impressive release which is a must investigation for all fans of anyone from Faith No More to Opeth, Periphery to Dark Tranquility, Tool to of course 6:33, in fact every metal fan as We All Die (Laughing) has something for all within their opus. With a limited-edition first pressing also containing a cover of Amy Winehouse track Back to Black, this is a must.
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