Saturday, August 17, 2013

Locktender - Kafka

01. Aphorism #17
02. Aphorism #16
03. Aphorism #87
04. Aphorism #63
05. Aphorism #103

Ok, so right out of the gate I should say that I am pretty unfamiliar with Franz Kafka, and therefore am unqualified to assess the level of success Locktender have or have not achieved in writing a record based on his Aphorisms. However, in a message on their Bandcamp, the band does note that "...the proverbs we have chosen attracted us particularly for their simplicity, beauty, openness to personal interpretation and in some ways, their obscurity". With this in mind, I'm hoping the band and their listeners take no offense to my somewhat uneducated evaluation of this record, which apart from being intellectually layered, is simply devastating. The opener 'Aphorism #17' begins safely enough as a pummeling hardcore track, mixing heavily distorted guitar with pained screams and heavy hitting drums. By the three minute mark the mood has shifted gears into melodic, clean picked territory before shifting back into total annihilation. By the end of the song cleaner vocals come in to add a layer of melody over the screams, and the entire thing is melodic and beautiful for about a minute before quitting. The record flows wonderfully between crushing hardcore and beautiful atmospheric sections, utilizing dynamics and flow to the band's advantage. The last track is largely acoustic, catching the listener somewhat off guard until the full band comes in to build up to the record's triumphant end. Definitely worth a listen.

Reviewed by Justin.

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