Straight up, this album took all of 1 minute to wow me. That is an impressive feat; that said, it also leaves itself with over 40 minutes of high expectations to live up to.
So, the opener, Bed of Pine, kicks things off perfectly. Every Stranger Looks Like You deliver loud bursts of awesome, similar to Dillinger Escape Plan‘s huge moments. Their songs are mostly slower paced, but consistently retain a heavy, grungey metal sound. The combination works really well, however something about it left me begging for things to be kicked up a notch for at least half of the record. Not to say that my wish wasn’t granted on numerous occasions.
Normally I would be put off by the more toned down tracks, such as (no) Future Friends, but every song on Bluest Shade Of Black pulls tricks out of its sleeve, be it a destructive chorus or little subtleties and depth that are a pure joy to listen to (this album is best appreciated through a powerful hi-fi setup or good headphones.)
It would be rude not to pick on Shards. This song absolutely kills, with the contrast between the slow, laid back verses that ring away and the chorus that will be latched inside your head for days on end. The guitars and distorted bass here are prime examples of everything to Every Stranger…’s sound; with the fantastic layers and structure, the huge ending and the more experimental sounds intertwined. Do not pass judgement on this album without listening to it.
With there being elements of so many different genres that fall in and out of Every Stranger…’s sound, Bluest Shade Of Black will not be for everyone. But at the end of the day, no music is. Amongst the more chilled songs, such as Prosopagnosia and Catharsis (Self-Help), there are also the more stepped up Black Seed and Zenith that are packed with energy and immense noise-rock sounds. Such variance could easily allow the album to push more people away than attract, however everything feels carefully (or at the least very well) placed, which is purely what makes the whole album work.
Even though Bluest Shade Of Black isn’t entirely to my taste, the whole package is what steals the show, and the whole package here is powerful stuff. If you like grunge, hard rock, or some good hardcore/metal music taken back a step, then this deserves your attention. And I am certain that your attention will be immensely pleasured.
Jake Hancke – 05/02/2016