Sculptured - Embodiment
19 February 2008

01. Taking My Body Apart
02. The Shape Of Rage
03. A Moment Of Uncertainty
04. Bodies Without Organs
05. Embodiment Is The Purest Form Of Horror

Upon reading that two of my favourite artists were behind the codename Sculptured, my expectations for this Embodiment were high. Namely, founder, guitarist and songwriter Don Anderson [also a driving force in the band Agalloch] and piano genius Andy Winter [Winds, Age of Silence] collaborated for the latest Sculptured. With this band, listeners should expect really progressive passages, growls, pop rock moments, and everything in between. Seeing that the band had been "inactive" since 2000, this Embodiment is a comeback to his first love for Don Anderson.

Anderson also enrolled the help of fellow Agalloch band mate Jason Walton on bass guitar, of drummer Dave Murray of Estradasphere, and of vocalist Tom Walling. The result is unexpected and progressive as hell. Somehow it sounds like another experimental artist such as Mike Patton would stamp-approve the whole thing. More versed towards the "out of the blue" layering, the tracks are only rarely aggressive despite some recurring growls. Vocally, it goes through phases from pop rock a la David Bowie to progressive death metal a la Mikael Akerfeldt.

As it is definitely obvious on the last track, 'Embodiment is the Purest Form of Horror', the guitar vista of Don Anderson always comes up as the number one factor why this record is an awesome experimental album. Andy Winter's keys/piano add a lot to the complexity of the songs, as I expected.

But more than anything, the weirdest part of Sculptured sound is the drums. They sound so progressive that sometimes it appears like Dave Murray recorded the wrong track. Overall though, it makes this album sound so unique and it ends up being a definite plus for the band to differentiate itself from other combos.

As for the few shortcomings of this album, number one is that it is for a very selective audience. Number two is that the closing track is so on top of the other compositions that it leaves me with a feeling of "it's amazing but why doesn't the whole album sound as impressive?".

Embodiment is an experimental ride, very hard to get into for newcomers but full of first-class things for fans of really experimental music. If you are sick of straightforward three minutes tunes, Sculptured is there to cure you. Anybody with some experimental knowledge or avant-garde interest should check this out immediately.

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


Written on 26.01.2008 by
Demonic Tutor
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Comments: 5  
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dancingdecember - 26.01.2008 at 15:42  
oh god werent they split up?i was surprised to see this review and thought its another sculptured.great they recorded new material coz they make really good music with any band of theirs.glad to be informed of this
Nacur - 26.01.2008 at 16:10  
This Album is awesome!!...but I still prefer the last album, from 1999, "Apollo Ends"
ylside - 26.01.2008 at 17:44  
I somehow thought this band split up aswell. Going to check that again then
AnarChrist - 03.02.2008 at 23:11  
I just recently discovered this band, which is odd, because Agalloch is my favourite band for some time now. This album proves that Agalloch's musicians have really diverse talents and shine in other projects too, "Embodiment" is some fantastic music that works in odd ways, but is enjoyable thoroughly, one of the first winnars of 2008 together with the more large-scale new Ayreon.
Hugoj33 - 22.12.2008 at 15:50  
Great album

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