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The Other Side Of The Sky

The Other Side Of The Sky from Daytona Beach, Florida deliver a unique brand of ambient sludge metal related to bands like Isis, Neurosis and Mogwai. The band was created in early 2002 by Michael Brown and Paul Weeks as a forum for their developing ideas and a desire to play the music they wanted to hear. Since then the band have played over 80 shows, toured the Eastern USA/Canada and self-released 2 cd’s, the most recent of which entitled ‘Heritage’ was recorded at Austin Enterprises with Steve Austin of Today Is The Day. Having heard that release, Retribute Records were blown away by it’s intensity and sense of dynamics and went about signing the band for their first label released cd entitled ‘Rorschach’ which was recorded at Godcity Studios under the guidance of Kurt Ballou (Converge). It is a representation of massive volume inducing emotion, combining droning riffs and subtle effects-induced builds.

Rorschach review

Was Billy Joel predicting the spiritual crisis that would face hordes of post-2000 post-hardcore/metal bands when he penned the lament I Go to Extremes? In the wake of the NeurIsis Inter-Genre Heavyweight Tag Team World Championship reign, stakes is high; its not enough just to be a good heavy band anymore, now you have to master all that quiet tension and delicate interplay the label needs to reference in your bio. This dichotomy of approach has yielded some stunning albums, as well as an ungodly number of bands whose most notable quality is that they can step on volume pedals in unison. Down in Daytona Beach, the Other Side of the Sky havent made a stunning album, but they sound like they might be trying.

TOSOTS have a lineup that boasts both four-and six-stringed bass and electronics, but they arent notably bass heavy or droning or electronically augmented. The sound is familiar, but the winding, delayed guitar leads throughout become signature soon enough. Heavy parts are heavy enough, no doubt, but also melodic enough that they never really come on like assaultswhether thats pro or con is your call. Reluctant Hero is the heaviest thing here, and most bands would scream all over its colossal main riff; the screaming comes, but not before that riff gets to develop and leave a mark.

So, about all that tension and interplay stuff TOSOTS acquit themselves quite well on that end. Mostly instrumental (and with no attempts at clean singingthanks, guys!), this stuff lives or dies on the strength of its songwriting. TOSOTS, at least once, prove that they could be contenders: Harlem is a downright beautiful song, like a slo-mo Pixies. The swells of volume and distortion arent wake-up calls, theyre more like a change in the lyrics to a refrain. In other words, it works like a real song and not an exercise in dynamics. The other five songs on here dont reach the heights of Harlem and Reluctant Hero, but show plenty of promise. And did you see where it said there was no clean singing? None!

Anthony Bartkewicz

You can listen to the Justice Is A Vagrant track here.

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