This Social Coil - After The Day Before
1 January 2014

01. Amnesia
02. Deep
03. Black White Voice
04. Shining Target
05. Voices
06. Somewhere In December
07. Terra Corvi
08. Stop This Game
09. This Mountain Too High

A great thing about the metal music landscape is the perpetual evolving nature of its creators and followers. So, while sitting at the Metal Storm round table, the topic of bands being "metal enough" was discussed. I was confident the powers that be would want to be a part of this unabated cultural change that's happening with metal webzines and blogs all over. Unconventional music is contriving and musical tastes are manifesting, so when a band releases an infatuating album that's not necessarily metal, I can acknowledge that softer, emotional music has a place in one's heart, soul, and favorite metal website - even as a diehard headbanger. The members of the round table agreed.

There isn't much known about This Social Coil, other than they formed in 2011 in Germany. A cool thing I found out about them is they have some really great artwork for each of the songs they've ever released. Musically, what I discovered about After The Day Before, besides it having one of the ugliest album covers I have ever seen, is it aggregates many influences and genres. For instance, the music is labeled post-rock, post-punk, and indie. Those are commonplace, but as a whole it sounds like shoegaze with vocals from the 1980's English alternative boom - very Joy Division-like. The singing, in English, weighs less than the lofty melancholic melodies just enough to broaden the range of the amalgamation. They are a great partner with the dissonant, minimalist arrangements that allow for space and interplay between the instruments. This diagnostic is well-represented in the two instrumental tracks on the album and justify the rest of songs impetuously.

The use of synthesizers, modified electronics, and extensive repetition invokes darker post-punk - a combination of the "hipster" subculture, older new-wave fascination, and the current crop of Gothic factions. Aphotic and aggressive, After The Day Before showcases a repertoire of varying musical subsets, spanning slow, haunting texture exercises, convoluted indie rock, punk verses, and shimmering post-rock aesthetics. The delivery never feels overwhelming from all the influences in the music and the themes are more introspective and condensed. The production is perfect, subtracting substance rather than adding it - yet the music still feels "heavy". The subtlety of the details is impressive and the mood shifts keep you on your heels.

After The Day Before is partly anthemic music and a clever, tight bundle of shoegaze effervescence. A fresh and invigorating listen, the metalhead in all of us needs a release and I encourage those who want to depress to head on over to the band's Bandcamp page and try it out. It will probably be a complete change of perspective for most of you, but it's also an endeavor bold enough to warrant an immediate possibilities check. Are you curious?

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 10


Written on 03.08.2014 by
Be gentle, I never said I was any good at this!
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garmling - 04.08.2014 at 14:45  
Man, thank you for this review! this album is a fucking blast! this is just beatiful!
Wes - 04.08.2014 at 17:23  
Personally, I cannot find a single track I can stand listening to, I'm sorry.
larksinmyhead - 04.08.2014 at 17:59  
Enjoying this immensely. Thank you! I do like the non-metal suggestions once and awhile.
Ilham - 04.08.2014 at 18:52  
Okay. You had me at Joy Division. I have neglected this kind of stuff these last few months as I keep discovering new things elsewhere, but I am in need of a new favourite post-punk album. I haven't heard anything that got close to a nine in almost a year - in that category I mean. Feedback within twenty-four hours.
Diverge - 05.08.2014 at 02:04  
Good, but not quite 9.3 rating. I'd probably rank it between 7-7.5 from what I've heard, although admittedly it's not my style these days.
Ilham - 05.08.2014 at 03:26  
Okay. I listened to it. I am sorry to say I agree with Diverge. When it comes to originality, this really doesn't feel new. It's a nice mix of all those genres you mentioned, but it doesn't take it much further.
Boxcar Willy - 05.08.2014 at 07:14  
Yeah, I'd say overrated and over written here. You need to review something shitty soon!
Nishant Pal - 11.08.2014 at 10:58  
Good stuff...reminds me of more of "The Cure" rather than Joy Division...!!!

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