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 discâ€™s first full track comes in â€œSoft Green Fieldsâ€, 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 â€œSoft Green Fieldsâ€ 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 â€œSoft Green Fieldsâ€ (â€œA Piece of History Written in Englandâ€) 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 â€œA Piece of History.â€ 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 â€œDelendaâ€ that From A Second Story Window do not go forward hand have a screaming and an â€œemoâ€ 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 â€œDelendaâ€. Perhaps the first â€œhitâ€ that the band has comes during â€œDark Waters of Thoughtâ€. 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 â€œOracles and Doorstepsâ€ 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
From A Second Story Window â€“ Delenda / 2006 Metal Blade / 10 Tracks / http://www.fromasecondstorywindow.com / http://www.metalblade.com / Reviewed 18 August 2006