From A Second Story Window – Delenda (CD)

I hear a lot of speed immediately from From A Second Story Window, but I hear nothing that joins together all the disparate sections of their band. The disc’s first full track comes in “Soft Green Fields”, and the production of the band at this juncture seems to be pushing the vocals to a level that is too high for the rest of the band. For example, the guitar work that is relegated to the background is what the band needs to go and tie together all the disparate elements in this track, but individuals are not able to hear it since both the vocals and the drums are cranked up that high.

The fact that “Soft Green Fields” relies on that general sound for five minutes on the dot injures the band slightly at this early juncture on the disc. Later tracks like the follow-up to “Soft Green Fields” (“A Piece of History Written in England”) smartly rely on much shorter runtimes to establish and use a specific sound. From A Second Story Window seems to go a little over the top a la Deicide during “A Piece of History.” If these vocals were taken down a notch, the overall sound of From A Second Story Window would be much more balanced and impressive. I find it also interesting during “Delenda” that From A Second Story Window do not go forward hand have a screaming and an “emo” vocalist struggling for dominance, like so many other acts on the market.

This little bit of creativity is a tick in their favor, but the band struggles seriously to come up with a solid track during the early point of “Delenda”. Perhaps the first “hit” that the band has comes during “Dark Waters of Thought”. On this track, the band actually is able to create a story with their compositions instead of just playing their instruments as fast as humanly possible. This subtle shift is a step in the right direction for From A Second Story Window. The band is able to work this change more or less in the last half of the disc, even though there are some backslides into the earlier style present. The band has enormous amounts of technical prowess, but it seems to be that From A Second Story Window need to sit back after arranging their music and seeing what narrative is created. A song like “Oracles and Doorsteps” does that well; perhaps the band can use that as a framework for their next album.

Top Tracks: Oracles and Doorsteps, Dark Waters of Thought

Rating: 5.3/10

From A Second Story Window – Delenda / 2006 Metal Blade / 10 Tracks / http://www.fromasecondstorywindow.com / http://www.metalblade.com / Reviewed 18 August 2006

[JMcQ]

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