The Age of the Universe - Singularity
Record Label: Self Released
Released Date: May 15th, 2014
Local D.C act The Age of The Universe brings back the days of classic Thrasher, mullets and empty pools, yet with a new found touch of spirituality found in many Krishna conscious bands, but lacking that Ray Cappo touch. Does this sound confusing? It slightly is. The Age of The Universe puts forth a solid effort with elements of spirituality most bands of their genre leave untouched, yet it lacks a solid foundation. Their debut full length Singularity jumps between many genres all the while maintaining an active heaviness. Released on May 15th, 2014 this record takes the listener on a deep spiritual journey in the minds of the ancients.
The opening track “Alive” begins with an "Artist in the Ambulance" (Thrice) sounding intro; open guitars blast through the listeners ears, slicing back and forth across space and time. This quickly is condensed as a break beat drum line is sprinkled by delayed tremelo picked guitars. The vocals here are reminiscent of The Mars Volta. High pitched and daring, the vocals cut through everything with a piercing, sonic force. Crashing cymbals and crushing guitar hits bring us into the chorus, where even higher harmonies pierce the listeners ear. “And I feel like its the first day of my life/I’m alive“ flows on top of this cacophony of sounds. Generic and bland lyrically, but it works for what it is. Soon a barrage of heavy metal head banging riffs are thrown the listeners way. It's a very complex song, with perhaps too much going on.
“Men on the Edge” brings the record to a new direction. Beginning with tribal humming and twangy repetitive guitar picking, it quickly transforms into an 80’s thrash-core song. It's reminiscent of later era Cro-Mags or Municipal Waste, even. The high pitched vocals here work wonders. The next track “Far From the Sun” brings the levels down, as watery acoustic guitars float through the listeners ear, below a deep bass and drum combo that float along the waves. Things slowly increases to an emotional crest as the band erupts against the wind, with soaring vocals trailing over repetitive chants as guitars increase emotion in lieu of the drums.
The title track “Singularity” drips through the listeners ears with clean, post-rock guitars falling all around. A smooth back beat falls through as the song flows along. RHCP is brought to mind. The tables soon turn however, and as the heaviness of the band returns, the same notes are played but in full and with heavier distortion, showcasing a difficulty in sticking to one mood. A transition back into the smoothness of the group emits relaxed energies once more. The over seven minute epic is transformed in its under belly, as wet delayed guitars ring out harmoniously. Gigantic drums pound their way through sparingly, creating a large open atmosphere; something Caspian or Russian Circle’s would create. This continues for a short while until a driving Chiodos-like section ends out the song.
“Spanish Eyes” gives an interesting flamenco twists to the album, bringing to mind the more jazz-like tendencies of Between The Buried and Me and The Mars Volta. A bass solo fills the middle of the song; one of the more impressive parts of the album. “Say It Loud” returns to the 80’s thrash-core vibes and the album closer “Dreams of Tomorrow” makes good use of the bands ability to transition from smooth to heavy in an instant.
A lot happens in this album. Making it slightly difficult to listen too. While progressive metal and rock is accessible to many, it is not easily done well. It takes more than combining different styles and sections; they need to be combined well. Basically if your band sounds like The Cro-Mags at one point, and not the rest of it, perhaps it shouldn’t sound like The Cro-Mags at all.