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Sculptured: The Liminal Phase

Sculptured released three albums between 1998 and 2008 and then fell silent for thirteen years. The band started out mostly as a solo project for Don Anderson (guitar / vocals), but quickly filled out to include (among others) Jason Walton (bass) and John Haughm (drums). Since those three were also a significant part of Agalloch, they decided to put Sculpted on hold while they explored what Agalloch would do. Since Agalloch broke up, Anderson returned to several ideas that were kicking around in his mind for several years. The result is this newest release from Sculptured.

It’s awesome that Sculptured has a chance to return to what they started so long ago. Not surprisingly, their return sparked a fair amount of excitement, if only to see what Anderson and his bandmates were up to. The response was somewhat divided. Some found it disappointing while others thought it was a solid new release. I’m closer to the latter than the former. I thought the songwriting was strong and I also enjoyed hearing what the band’s new members, Andy Winter (keyboards), Martti Hill (drums), and Marius Sjøli (vocals), brought to the table. Winter’s keyboards especially stood out for the way they gave everything a little more structure while also adding some helpful sparkle here and there. Sjøli’s vocals were also strong and not as overly emotive as song clean singers are. Sure, the album is a bit of a slow burn, but that’s not such a bad thing. If this isn’t a complete return to form for everyone, it’s still a solid reminder that there’s more to this band than just living in Agalloch’s shadow.

Track Listing:
1. The Ordeal of Undecidability
2. Dead Wall Reveries
3. State of Exception
4. At the Margins of Light
5. Only Shame Can Save Us

Added: January 25th 2022
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 622
Language: english

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