East Of The Wall The Apologist

Translation Loss 2011

Not all apologies.

East Of The Wall - The Apologist


For the first time in recent memory the men that comprise East Of The Wall have achieved the one thing that has always eluded them. That would of course be stability. With no drastic lineup change or new moniker involved, it would finally seem that they are free to focus on the music itself and it shows.

East Of The Wall‘s first effort (“Ressentiment“) after absorbing Biclops (aka Day Without Dawn/The Postman Syndrome) was a stiff and needlessly heavier affair when compared to their past works. Having since had the time to define their roles and develop further with “The Apologist“, a much more fluid experience is offered up.

The intricate balancing act between vocals and instrumental numbers continues, but this time it exudes an indelibly organic air. Delicate melodies rife with jangling chords and angular riffing instill beauty. While brutish eruptions of combative Neurosis-like bellowing shatter the tranquility. It’s a dizzyingly vicious cycle, but one that the band approach with enough intelligence to foster both diversity and vitality.

Ultimately it is this unpredictable stream of artistically inclined emotional consciousness that makes the bands output readily appealing. That said, it’s not uncommon to feel that at times there are too many irons in the fire. It’s not that the material becomes bloated, so much as the density and persistent momentum can become impenetrable.

The Apologist” is a creatively gifted voyage to be sure, but one that can be overwrought from a songwriting standpoint. Although this may also just be bias of holding the band members up to their past works, such as Day Without Dawn‘s revered “Understanding Consequences“.

But more often that not there’s too much thrown at the ‘wall’ here for it all to stick. The only element given a spotlight is the animated bass playing of Brett Bamberger. Countless times his edgy low end serves as the buzzing counterpoint to the rest of the band, especially on the track “Linear Failure“.

The talent and musicianship of those involved in this outfit has never been in question though. Nearly every member involved not only plays their own instruments, but contributes vocals as well. But perhaps that is becoming a problem. With such an open door for everyone to contribute, there’s rarely a moment where they can scale back and display stark contrast.

It’s understandable that with this being their first album written as a complete unit that everyone would be eager to contribute. But with a touch more moderation East Of The Wall could easily eclipse all past works. Until then, they remain great, but fall just short of excellence.