Achilles "Hospice" CDPosted on Wednesday, June 6th, 2007 @ 8:54am » permalink
"Hospice", the sophomore full-length from Achilles (on Hex Records), sees the band continually evolving with their brand of rhythmic, angular – and now increasingly melodic – material, which just keeps getting better as far as I'm concerned. Few tracks top three minutes, and the entire album's only about a half-hour long, so they really keep things moving and leave no room for stalling out. The staples of the band's sound remain firmly intact in terms of aggressive yells breaking through diverse layers of chunky guitar work and a rhythmically pulsing backbone, and there are still plenty of controlled yet chaotic guitar textures and that kind of thing, but there's also more of a dissonant post-hardcore angle happening with a lot of the chord phrasings and arrangements. There are a hell of a lot of twists and turns here, though, so the song structures don't necessarily come across as more streamlined or anything, they just seem to be tapping into a slightly more energetic sensibility that works together with the fluidity of the transitions to maintain the momentum of the album. And shit, I guess they're just progressing as songwriters, which makes perfect sense, so there are some real fuckin' gems on this thing, I can say that much. Killer recording, too. Everything sounds nice and natural with a crisp mix that really utilizes space and breathing room – which lets the distinct basslines take a focal role on occasion, and I'm always a fan of that. The thick booklet looks quite nice as well, devoting one full page photograph to each song with the lyrics across the center spread:
Wake up wake up we're losing everything our minds lifted stripped of our will to fight complacent ideals we are fixtures barely passing as living human beings we are fixtures we are fixtures wake up wake up we're losing everything wake up wake up we are fixtures do we really want to face reality?
Great work. There's a lot of ground covered here and what I've stated above doesn't really come close to properly explaining it, which sort of makes me feel like an ass, but it also speaks to the band's efficiency of blending influences, so listen for yourself and be the judge:
And if you like, you know what to do: