SWARM OF THE LOTUS
"The Sirens of Silence"

(Abacus)

01. Hookworm
02. Call to Abandon
03. The Great Masquerade
04. Yan Huo
05. Jackie G
06. Snowbeast
07. Needles and Knives
08. The Insect Trust Fund
09. Vertigo
10. Judas
11. House at the Bottom of the Sea
12. Nightmare Paint

RATING: 8/10

How exactly does a band follow up an earthquake of an album like "When White Becomes Black", a disc that is equal parts MASTODON girth, KEELHAUL pugilism, and SWARM OF THE LOTUS' own style of split lip racket-core? You make an even better album…that's how! On "The Sirens of Silence", the band takes all the ingredients that made "When White Becomes Black" such a sonic concussion, adds an almost imperceptible hint of accessibility and a tad more groove (we're talking in very relative terms here), and creates even more interesting textures. Simple, right? Maybe if you're SWARM OF THE LOTUS.

Just like the debut album, on "The Sirens of Silence", the quartet plays its self-coined "A-Bomb Rock" in a way that convinces you that it's more than sound, that the music actually has weight and you could clobber someone over the head with it. It's all about those frighteningly heavy rhythms that seem as though pick-up trucks should be hauling them out of a rock quarry and those riffs that could pop the fillings out of your teeth. These essential elements are then improved upon and made more enveloping. It surely continues to be jarring as hell, as I found out listening to the album with a severe hangover this morning.

It's the band's discovery of the balance between evolving musically and retaining the familiar attributes that makes "The Sirens of Silence" an appealing album. After a few listens, the depth of the arrangements becomes more apparent, even as the landslide continues unabated. Little things like the laid-back break and moments of semi-clean/trippy vocals on "Snowbeast", a sort of haunting harmony vocal on "The Insect Trust Fund" (great title, by the way), and the bass/drum plod section on "House at the Bottom of the Sea" make the experience more invigorating. Kurt Ballou's (CONVERGE) production adds several tons, of course.

As the screams of dementia and lurching riffs on "Nightmare Paint" close the album, one feels an urge to run back through the disc's leaden tapestry; always a good sign. Not recommend for people suffering from heart disease or folks who seek serenity by listening to rainforest recordings.

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).