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Dead Register: Trvns Blvk

At the end of 2012, I reviewed an album by a band called Palaces. In my first sentence, I wrote: "I loved this album so much, I'm afraid I may gush." I try not to get so excited when I write anything, but I couldn't help myself. The album was awesome and it still seems fresh and exciting all these months later. Readers who like eclectic music with a Mastodon-like vibe should consider that album out.

Unfortunately, Palaces is no more. I'm not sure what happened, but the band is defunct. Fortunately, Chvasta, one of the band members, has a new project called Dead Register that is also quite good. When I heard about this recording, I was immediately intrigued, not only because I genuinely liked Palaces, but also because I wanted to hear something new, something really engaging. The last few weeks have been all black metal, all the time. Trvns Blvk, the band's debut EP, offers listeners about thirty minutes worth of slow, moody, and deliberate music that is at times heavy, at times gloomy, and all times exciting. The music has a slightly post-metal quality to it, though that label alone doesn't quite capture the mood of these three songs. A better descriptor would be something more like heavy gothic, perhaps post-gothic. Listen to Chvasta's vocals and you'll know what I mean. He's got that deep baritone thing going, the kind that many will associate with certain gothic singers. Whatever we want to label it, the music here plays off dark and lonely moods, but ultimately leaves a little bit of room for hope.

Of the three songs on this recording, I was especially interested in "With Sympathies." I've had it playing regularly over the last few days and I love it. There's a lot going on here, both musically and lyrically. To me, this song ought to be the signature piece for the band, at least for now. The heavy mood, the deep vocals, the slightly chugging groove—all these things work together to give the band a style and a sound that is all theirs.

The other two tracks, "Alone" and "Ordinary," were also very good. Do not miss the moment in "Ordinary" when the guitars get a little crazy, exceeding the general emotion of the song itself. That's a cool moment, one that sticks out every time I hear it.

Simply put, this isn't ritual music or an attempt to build an army against a common foe. No, this is quieter, gloomier, stuff, the kind of music that builds melodies out of moods and provokes contemplation. Enjoying this band is easy if you simply close your eyes and drift away into the gloom.

Track Listing:
1. Alone
2. Ordinary
3. With Sympathies

Added: October 30th 2014
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Bandcamp Page
Hits: 1659
Language: english

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