Engine Down - To Bury Within The Sound
Lovitt Records

How passive is it for me to say that these guys have matured?  Well, it is.  
And they have.  Early last year I wrote a glowing review of their first CD 
that ended up not having as much an effect on me as I had originally thought.  
This album feels exactly the opposite.  I heard it for the first time a few 
weeks ago and thought it was pretty okay, much different from the first, but 
good nonetheless.  As I listen to it over and over in preparation for this 
review I can feel myself warming more and more.  The layers are making 
themselves audible, it's unraveling and clearing out for me.  Gone are the 
wrenched screams and off key singing that raised the hairs on the back of my 
neck from the first album.  Gone is the inevitable Hoover comparison.  Make 
no mistake though, these guys still rock hard; it just takes them awhile to 
get there.  Loud/soft dynamics are included to some degree, but not to the
annoyance of say, Mineral or something.  The songs creep up on you, they
don't explode into an 'emotional rage' and then quiet down again,
repeating over and over again.  This subtlety and crasftsmanship not only
distances themselves from the hordes of typical emo rock bands, but from
their former selves.  Undoubtedly some fans will be disappointed with the
lack of yelling and convulsing, but really, overall this is a much more  
solidly recorded, written, and played record than their first.  The
textures they've achieved here are akin to bands with much bigger
budgets; it just sounds thick and full.  The songs tense as they go on,
pulling tighter and tighter, not just paying off fast with a quick
explosion.  We shan't be duped by cheap emo; these guys know we won't be
fooled anymore.  I know that repeated listens will unfold this album even
more - it's a good feeling to know you have that to look forward to in a
record.  Evolution kills a band sometimes.  Either their fans get
disappointed and leave or they break up in disagreement.  Although the
latter remains to be seen, the former is certainly not the case with
me.  A record that exceeds previous efforts and expectations is something
grand indeed.          
...david smith...

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