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Swarm of the Lotus: The Sirens of Silence


Swarm of the Lotus: The Sirens of Silence

Label:Abacus
Format:Album
Media:CD
Release Date:2005
Genre:Hard Rock/Metal
More info on local act

Swarm of the Lotus

Swarm of the Lotus plays a CD-release show and shoots an upcoming live DVD at the Ottobar July 15 with Soilent Green, A Perfect Murder, Watch Them Die, Into the Moat, and Strong Intention.

By Bret McCabe | Posted 7/13/2005

Gone are the purely technical runs and wonk of Swarm of the Lotus’ 2004 When White Becomes Black, replaced by a healthy interest in diverse menace. The six-minute “Call to Abandon” is emblematic of the band’s looser approach and a great addition to the SOTL arsenal: A patiently roiling drums and bass neck-breaker occasionally erupts into a bristling chorus before welcoming full-on calamity at the five-minute mark. It’s a chest-punch sculpted with attention to shifting dynamics and building throb out of specific details, not just dead-sprint riffs with the volume pegged, and it’s a wonderfully sludgy new element to a band that already had speed metal down pat.

Murky guitars add a lasciviously evil streak to “The Great Masquerade” that creates a wobbly counterpoint to its classic thrash spine. A fanfare of pulsating guitar strafes over high-hat and bass-drum hyperactivity in the streamlined complexity of “Yan Hou,” a multipart beat-down as baroquely intricate as anything by Nile. And in the fabulously named “The Insect Trust Fund,” SOTL hatches an opening salvo of a riff pattern and formidably meaty surge on par with Mastodon’s “March of the Fire Ants.”

Even better, these chunky rockers break up the breathless pace and flow of Sirens, which spotlights its full-throttle thrash much better. “Vertigo” and “Jackie G” provide much needed adrenaline bursts to the album’s churning running time and don’t feel like just another three-minute wad shoot. And though the band hasn’t mastered everything—an almost eight-minute doom dirge such as “House at the Bottom of the Sea” is prolly best left to actual Scandinavians—with The Sirens of Silence, Swarm of the Lotus considerably steps up its game.

E-mail Bret McCabe

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