Adeste -In Parables
Record Label: Independent
Release Date: November 20, 2010
Is the scene just not cutting it for you? Do you enjoy a good metalcore or post-hardcore album, even though the genres as they now exist are continually crucified due to the lengths labels like Rise and their bands will go to profit at the expense of musical integrity? If so, you're a lot like me. I ventured into Adeste's thread in the self-promotion forum without high expectations, considering their RIYL was similar to countless bands in their genre. Thankfully, looks can be very deceiving. I was floored halfway through, and this was one of the rare times where an album captivated me after a single listen. So, I'm gracing it with my first review.
In Parables embarks with "Dawning", a gentle, hypnotizing lullaby, which might confuse you into thinking Adeste are a post-rock band and that I completely BS’ed their RIYL. "Foundations" begins with a bang; a driving opening guitar line followed by a dark, elegant piano melody similar to what Falling Up's Dawn Escapes is known for. Enter the ferocious snarling created by the group’s combined vocals, coupled with the bleeps, bloops, and breakdowns characteristic of Sky Eats Airplane. This sound remains consistent for the album’s entirety, permeating "Seeking" and "Numbers"; the latter being the obvious single thanks to the superbly catchy intro. It's also at this point where you begin to hear the strong presence of The Receiving End of Sirens throughout the album. Theatrical, atmospheric guitars coupled with clean vocals evocative of Between the Heart and the Synapse abound.
A charismatic and anthemic interlude awaits with “Stasis”, reminiscent of a less dark, more charming version of Of Machines' "Sailing Alone around the Room". "Waking" begins with bloops that could have been pulled straight from Sky Eats Airplane's Everything Perfect on the Wrong Day, leading into rolling percussion accompanied by fierce screams, then shifting to the start of a recurring melodic déjà vu. "Mourning" opens with a good minute and a half’s worth of something I’d expect from The Dear Hunter, continuing with further lovely guitar builds and chanted gang vocals. The best part waits at the end, with beautiful acoustic guitar backed by a soft piano melody. "Redemption" brings all the best elements of the album together into an epic and climactic closure, lifting you to the heavens toward the end with emotive screams and a guitar-backed piano melody layered behind soaring vocal harmonies.
The best part about In Parables as a whole is that it's a concept album. The most interesting parts of the album occur because of repetition. There are several instances where specific phrases and melodies are repeated or fused between tracks, intended for both the recollection and foreshadowing of events in the story. It suits the album quite well as a poetic device, despite critics surmising that the repetition is a sign of the musicianship lacking ingenuity.
My complaints against the album are few. It could use a little more intricacy in the guitars with less pronounced breakdowns. They seem to take away, though marginally, from the originality that Adeste has presented with this album. Additionally, the screams aren’t entirely perfect, and “Structure” and “Retribution” could’ve used more of the instrumentally interesting spots present in the rest of the album. The production is also slightly underwhelming and would benefit from adding a little more gloss to Adeste's sound, but that’s no real problem for anyone who’s not a perfectionist.
Adeste has successfully exhaled a creative second wind back into the lungs of a style often wholly dismissed by anyone who sees their taste as being superior to that of a scenester’s. Three years of hard work independent of label funds have shaped In Parables to contain exactly the differences that should be embraced by bands in the post-hardcore/metalcore scene while still relating to it. It abandons the formulaic approach—overdone chugga chugga breakdowns, out of place synthesizer, and auto-tuned, excessively high-pitched vocals, all glazed over with the artificial sheen of overproduction—and replaces it with uncommonly entrancing instrumentation and lyrics with a cohesive message, while still maintaining intensity. It should only be a brief matter of time before Adeste are offered a signing after this great debut, but they’d be prudent to continue the dedication they've had to their music while creating it. Adeste have become living proof that the scene isn’t necessarily a terrible thing to associate with.