AbsolutePunk.net
   Username
Password
 
Album Review
Hint: Follow a reviewer to be notified when they post reviews.
Decoder - Decoder Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.75
Musicianship 9
Lyrics 7.75
Production 8.5
Creativity 7.25
Lasting Value 7
Reviewer Tilt 7.25
Final Verdict: 79%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.5
Musicianship 9.67
Lyrics 9.17
Production 9.33
Creativity 9.58
Lasting Value 9.5
Reviewer Tilt 9.67
Average: 95%

Decoder - Decoder

Reviewed by: cwhit412 (01/16/11)
Decoder - Decoder
Record Label: Rise Records
Release Date: January 18th, 2011


Decoder is a band of afterthoughts. Four of the five members were in three bands, two of which have soared in popularity since the initial break while the third has broken up. I'm not too sure that vocalist Spencer Pearson formerly of VersaEmerge, vocalist Keith Jones and guitarist Jack Burns formerly of Oceana, and drummer Brent Guistwite formerly of Of Machines regret their decisions now. After teaming up with bassist Bryce Sipes and signing with Rise Records, ex-home of both Oceana and Of Machines, Decoder brings together influences from all three of their former bands together, creating a more artistic and technical album then any of those bands (minus maybe Oceana's Clean Head) have ever released. However, the band could have tried experimenting a bit more, instead holding the record back from being a breakout.

The dark, yet atmospheric mood is felt immediately in the first track, "Dreamwalker", as if to show right off from the bat that this isn't an ordinary Rise Records output. Before long, Spencer's clean vocals become reminiscent of Anthony Green with a better lower register. "Transcendence" takes a page from the book of Oceana, combining the heaviness of The Tide with the dark, progressive feel of Clean Head. However, the screams seem mostly unnecessary, weak both vocally and in their placement. This is not the case in "Conflicts", as the intelligible screams in the chorus go much better with the music than the lower pitched, more brutal screams. The song shows that the band does have the ability to write a catchy hook, even though they do not take advantage of that throughout the album, instead mostly focusing on the music of the album.

Midway through the album, it becomes apparent that most of the songs do not stick out on their own. The song structure is pretty consistent throughout, with the cycle of a little singing, to screaming, to a singing chorus occurring in pretty much every song. I had hoped "The Light" lived up to its name as a more atmospheric piece that was focused on Spencer's vocals. However, as throughout the album, the screaming seems to be thrown in and takes away from the song. "The Horrid" is anything but horrid, as the chorus is one of the catchier ones, and the ending is powerful, with eerie harmonies and background screams that are sure to invoke chills. "The Giver" and "The Taker" surprisingly do not go together as opposites, as "The Taker" is probably the "heaviest" track on the album while although "The Giver" is much more atmospheric, the screams still take a key role in the track. Closer "Holding On" is finally a track that sounds instrumentally different than the rest, piano taking the lead in the instrumentation. Spencer's vocals soar as the song approaches the climax, crescendos going hand in hand with the raising of pitch, while the screams are finally placed in the perfect place. The album ends with the band finally starting to win me over.

It is clear that Decoder took the safe way out this time, simply wanting to please Rise Records rather than creating the music that they are capable of. With the loss of Oceana to both Clean Head and another label, Decoder simply took the void of the band rather than living up to their potential. The song structures are generic and do not allow the talent of the members to shine. The band has not been together for very long, and it is possible that the whole album was rushed. The future is still extremely bright for the band, and hopefully this album will sell well enough to allow the band a bit more room for experimentation next time around.

Projected Score: 7.7/10
Recommended If You LikeOceana's Birth Eater and Clean Head mixed together with Anthony Greenesque cleans, but mostly generic song structure and little experimentation.

Myspace

Tracklist:
1. Dreamwalker
2. Transcendence
3. Conflicts
4. Believers
5. The Light
6. The Giver
7. The Horrid
8. The Taker
9. Drones
10. Holding On

Review originally found here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 26
12:42 PM on 02/02/11
#2
Smeee
AP.net's Resident Staryu
Offline
User Info.
Smeee's Avatar
Good review. I enjoy this album but can't help but wonder if it would have been better without the screamed vocals.
12:47 PM on 02/02/11
#3
kbomb001
Jesus Saves
Offline
User Info.
kbomb001's Avatar
Gotta say, fella, you blew this review out of the ballpark.
12:55 PM on 02/02/11
#4
cubsml34
A Class 3 KILLSTORM
Offline
User Info.
cubsml34's Avatar
Nice review, this album has such an ominous mood to it that it lingers in my head, but I believe some of the songs run together a bit.
01:00 PM on 02/02/11
#5
vivatoto56
EB was left out
Offline
User Info.
vivatoto56's Avatar
I like the way you write your reviews. A lot.
01:07 PM on 02/02/11
#6
cwhit412
Offline
User Info.
cwhit412's Avatar
I like the way you write your reviews. A lot.
Pretty surprising, compared to how my reviewing started. Thanks a ton though.
01:08 PM on 02/02/11
#7
cwhit412
Offline
User Info.
cwhit412's Avatar
Gotta say, fella, you blew this review out of the ballpark.
That means the world to me. Thanks man.
01:11 PM on 02/02/11
#8
kbomb001
Jesus Saves
Offline
User Info.
kbomb001's Avatar
That means the world to me. Thanks man.
Cheers, mate
01:56 PM on 02/02/11
#9
Steve Alcala
"Counting Fish"
Offline
User Info.
Steve Alcala's Avatar
Extremely well written review man but I gotta disagree, I thought the sound they had was pretty unique but I agree that I would like some more experimentation. Either way, good review
02:26 PM on 02/02/11
drewinseries
Fight to get it back again.
Offline
User Info.
drewinseries's Avatar
Good review. I enjoy this album but can't help but wonder if it would have been better without the screamed vocals.
I feel like this band would be so much better without the screaming. Most songs, when i'm listening I am just waiting for the next singing part.
03:56 PM on 02/02/11
Mikeallover
Regular Member
Offline
User Info.
Mikeallover's Avatar
Good review. I really like this album.
04:48 PM on 02/02/11
cwhit412
Offline
User Info.
cwhit412's Avatar
I feel like this band would be so much better without the screaming. Most songs, when i'm listening I am just waiting for the next singing part.

Agree. The screaming really took a load out of the album, which seems to be many people'
s concerns with it.
04:49 PM on 02/02/11
cwhit412
Offline
User Info.
cwhit412's Avatar
Extremely well written review man but I gotta disagree, I thought the sound they had was pretty unique but I agree that I would like some more experimentation. Either way, good review
It's a unique sound with a generic structure and used throughout the whole album with very little change.
Thanks for the kind words though.
05:06 PM on 02/02/11
SourStuff
Five Body Blade Vocalist
Offline
User Info.
SourStuff's Avatar
Very good. I personally would have rated it higher, but I think that's why your review is great. You are honest and to the point. I too look forward to Decoder's future.
05:17 PM on 02/02/11
Steve Alcala
"Counting Fish"
Offline
User Info.
Steve Alcala's Avatar
It's a unique sound with a generic structure and used throughout the whole album with very little change.
Thanks for the kind words though.
Well this bands got time and I get what ya mean now. But anyway no problem man, keep it up
Options
More From This Author

NEWS, MUSIC & MORE
Search News
Release Dates
Exclusives
Best New Music
Articles
CONNECT
Submit News
Forums
Contests
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
HIDDEN TREASURES
AbsolutePunk Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Recommendations
INFORMATION
Advertising
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
FOLLOW
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
PropertyOfZack
PunkNews.org
UnderTheGun
Chorus.fm