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Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster - The World Inside review




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Reviewer:
8.0

12 users:
7.67
Band: Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster
Album: The World Inside
Release date: August 2021


01. Machinations
02. The World Inside
03. Presynaptic
04. Truth Escapes
05. Postsynaptic
06. Apocryphal


Nearly a decade ago Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster contacted me, requesting I review Exegesis. Back in the day I was a slut and pretty much said "Yes!" to any review request that made its way to my inbox. Burnt out on Post-It bands at the time I was blown away. Will I be again, nine years on with The World Inside?

The World Inside sees TNBD hand over vocal duties to Silent Bob There are none. Well, kind of*. So how would I find TWI with the band missing a key ingredient a sonic lomito without the mango habanero Cholula, if you will?

Surprisingly well.

Or not that surprising, really.

As much as I enjoyed the vocals, it was the totality of the songs on Exegesis which gripped me. TWI further showcases the abilities of these musicians to craft sonic passages and environments, leaving all interpretation to you.

As for interpretation, the whole thing kicks off with five minutes of the musical equivalent of the establishing shot of a motion picture. Laying in bed with eyes closed, big headphones on, as "Machinations" played, I found myself mentally conjuring images of some 80s Sci-Fi dystopian future movie, slowly descending over and panning into what some future city would feel like - dark and gritty structures decorated with neon sheen to try and mask the decay. The bass takes center stage, driving the song along with some drum support while the guitar and other effects are ephemeral, floating in and out off in the side, adding ambiance without demanding attention. Five minutes later, pause, and tremolo-picking guitar lead announces Post-time has kicked off. The remainder of the track pretty much showcases everything I enjoy about Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster. Rapid tremolo picked melody deftly shifts into Helmet-like "duh-uh" riffing to full on E-string chugging. They encapsulate a variety of styles and build-ups and are quite adept at shifting from one style to another.

Earlier I referenced their ability to craft songs. Bassist Tom remarked the album was "proggier" than their past efforts and yeah. (mentally insert "He's right you know" gif here.) The sonic shifts are one aspect of that, the band interplay is yet another. Each musician is capable of both embellishing as well as restraint. The melodies the guitar creates leave space for flourishes on the drum kit or bass. They also don't sit on a riff too long. The intro to "Machinations" might take a while to develop but beyond that they don't ride a riff until it runs out of gas. To continue the vehicle analogy, they change it up more frequently than I do whatever car I've just stolen in Grand Theft Auto 5. Only they are far, far smoother in transition.

The entirety of the album continues like this, each track an audible feast. Forced to pick, I'd probably tag "Apocryphal" as my personal favorite, though each is an interesting journey.

I have always found it challenging to describe an album like this - far more so than black, death, thrash or doom - so don't let my inability to translate their brilliant sonic concepts into swell phrases or analogies dissuade you.

This is definitely worth a digital spin so put on your headphones and bandcamp your way to explore The World Inside.

* The CD and digital album does have one track with vocals, "Truth Escapes", which appears fourth on the track list, though that previously appeared on the EP of the same name. It does not appear on the vinyl variant due to the length of the songs.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9





Written on 18.08.2021 by BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.


Comments

Comments: 7   Visited by: 75 users
18.08.2021 - 17:11
Netzach
Planewalker
I've really been looking forward to this one, even more so now. Been listening the hell out of "Machinations" since the single was released.
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18.08.2021 - 17:36
musclassia

From what I remember, there were also no vocals on Wires/Dream\Wires; I remember at the time wondering whether it was going to remain that way, seemingly it is so. I did like W/D\W enough, but found it less memorable than Exegesis, and the bits that stood out most on Exegesis were with vocals (e.g. the refrain in Wake), so hopefully it's not the same here, but looking forward to this album in any case; nice review BC.
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18.08.2021 - 18:41
BitterCOld
The Ancient One
Written by musclassia on 18.08.2021 at 17:36

From what I remember, there were also no vocals on Wires/Dream\Wires; I remember at the time wondering whether it was going to remain that way, seemingly it is so. I did like W/D\W enough, but found it less memorable than Exegesis, and the bits that stood out most on Exegesis were with vocals (e.g. the refrain in Wake), so hopefully it's not the same here, but looking forward to this album in any case; nice review BC.


Yeah, was a minor issue I had with WDW considering I loved their music but the vocals on Exegesis where the awesome sauce to top it off. Here/hear it's more prog-influenced and makes for an interesting listen, you can always focus on what one instrument is doing.

Will say, rating wise, I've nudged Exegesis from my original score of 7.9 (I was trying to be a little harsh on good to very good releases at the time, didn't want to dole out too much green so anything that was 8+ stood out from my other reviews) to a full on 9 over time. It's still my favorite. Partly for being the first, partly for the vocals being such an awesome 180 from the screaming vocals at a volume to drown out the mix rather then be a part of the track - it was like being fed a slice of Pizza Hut for lunch for a year then one day someone dropping a proper Italian pie fresh from the oven on your plate. Even on 16gb old smart phones with 3-4gb for audiobooks and music, it had a permanent spot along with shit like Ulver's Perdition City, Enslaved's AEO and The Cure's Disintegration.

They've always been a band I'm happy to revisit a release after the review is posted. Back when I was doing 30-50 a year and spending a full week and 15 spins or so per album, not that many ever got digitally dusted off for another go.
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get the fuck off my lawn.

Beer Bug Virus Spotify Playlist crafted by Nikarg and I. Feel free to tune in and add some pertinent metal tunes!
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18.08.2021 - 18:49
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Look what they did to that guy's head!
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Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?


2021 goodies
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18.08.2021 - 20:17
Uxküll

Wow, how wasn't this on my radar? Loved their previous album, definitely giving this one a spin.
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"Nullum unquam exstitit magnum igenium sine aliqua dementia [there was never great genius without some madness]."

Best of Metal A-Z: http://metalstorm.net/users/lists.php?user_id=158339
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18.08.2021 - 20:18
Uxküll

Written by RaduP on 18.08.2021 at 18:49

Look what they did to that guy's head!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSHbbTcbcds
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"Nullum unquam exstitit magnum igenium sine aliqua dementia [there was never great genius without some madness]."

Best of Metal A-Z: http://metalstorm.net/users/lists.php?user_id=158339
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19.08.2021 - 11:32
musclassia

Written by BitterCOld on 18.08.2021 at 18:41

Written by musclassia on 18.08.2021 at 17:36

From what I remember, there were also no vocals on Wires/Dream\Wires; I remember at the time wondering whether it was going to remain that way, seemingly it is so. I did like W/D\W enough, but found it less memorable than Exegesis, and the bits that stood out most on Exegesis were with vocals (e.g. the refrain in Wake), so hopefully it's not the same here, but looking forward to this album in any case; nice review BC.


Yeah, was a minor issue I had with WDW considering I loved their music but the vocals on Exegesis where the awesome sauce to top it off. Here/hear it's more prog-influenced and makes for an interesting listen, you can always focus on what one instrument is doing.



Yeah, giving it a listen now and didn't need to worry about the relative lack of vocals (aside from Truth Escapes) too much, I'm liking it a lot
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