The Liars Bend Low – DD//Ltd. Ed. LP
Black Bow Records – Release Date: May 26th, 2017
Reviewed By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker
Every so often a time-specific item comes along, something that is ideal and fitting for that sole moment, at that very point with all that is transpiring. It can be anything of course, a statement, a movement or hell, perhaps even a musical movement that makes a statement. I believe the latter option is happening as I write this, as the Houston, Texas-based prog metal unit Pyreship release their debut ‘The Liars Bend Low‘. The 5-song offering will be unleashed via digital format and limited edition vinyl via Black Bow Records today, Friday, May 26th.
In an age where mediocrity and the most seemingly mundane noise is hailed as great music and talentless hacks hailed as “brilliant”, this release comes. It comes at just the right time too, right when we need it most for it contains a much larger scope and impact when effectually dissected. Thanks to guitarist/vox Cru Jordan Jones, guitarist/ vox Sam Waters, bassist George Ellis Lusito and drummer Steve Smith, the quartet has given us quite the profound album here. One that is comprised of progressive, forward-moving Post-Metal and massive Noise Rock qualities yet those qualities are taken much, much further into the fray.
Things begin with a melodic introduction and build up in the first song of the five, ‘Gravity‘ but soon enough it implodes. Massive, bulky riffs drive the song’s advance while rhythmic pulsations pump and plod beneath as the guys find the groove and initiate the ride along it. Ever chugging onward, while somewhat stripped down, angst-y vocals find their way into the verses and then merge harmoniously in the choruses. Outstanding drum work powers the backline within the track, at points it is isolated and becomes the focal point of the song. Using samples and spoken word inserts to serve as a type or narrative to much of the record, the famous one from Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator delivers us to the fantastic ‘Machine Men‘. You nearly assume this will be an instrumental track due to the abundance of jamming jam-packed into it but alas, vocals gradually appear. They become one of the really interesting elements of this track too, the present multiple layers of them, how they divide and unite at differing marks.
With ‘When Leaves Turn To Blood‘ we take a thrilling detour into some hazy, heady psychedelia right from the start. Rhythmic, hypnotically cadenced drums power things like some silken locomotive, simultaneously airy and heavy both before the vocals enter. They too are rendered with atmospheric effects as the track soon seems to float along its way…that is until the guitars surface. Thick riffs churn intermittently with resonating licks, everything merging into a flurry of controlled chaos, the quiet cool if you will. The lysergic nuances up to this point find their full footing in the fourth song, ‘Die-Sect‘, my favorite song. Emotionally scarred vocals crackle before some heavy handed guitars, bottom end-bleeding bass lines and thundering drums find their unified way into the mix. Building upward, tumbling downward, spiraling sonics encircle you, spinning and whirling about your head. This continues in intensity and segmented severity through paced application through much of the cut and up to its finish. Besides, any song that hosts a quote/sample from a David Lynch production is always boss in my book!
A Martin Luther King, Jr. sample provides an eerie intro to the final track ‘…Are We Dead Yet‘ before it unfurls itself as perhaps the heaviest song of this debut. Or so you think as the fantastic swagger of the guitars resonate and the tightly wound, in-the-pocket rhythm section navigates some respectable realms. Aggressive, mostly shouted vocals bellow throughout as well, all of which combined result in a magnificent song that ends an equally monumental album itself. It’s definitely one that you need to hear immediately via the Soundcloud stream below and from there, go purchase!
– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker