Album – The Apneist – A Life of Science

Posted by admin on November 9th, 2009

Of the many albums that I’m asked to consider for review, it’s often not much more than a few songs that capture my imagination. This was pretty much how it was, for The Apneist. One song in particular caught my attention, “Barnacles of Time”, and was used in a recent podcast. It wasn’t until I had a chance to really sit down with the album and to pur over the sleeve notes, that I was able to fully experience the story that unfolded before me.

Set in a distant future, the hopes of mankind have fallen on the shoulders of “John”, whose whole life has been engineered by his parents for the greater good. Born on the same day as “Sarah”, his kindred spirit, when they become too close, the powers that be, see fit to separate them, and so begins “John’s”, isolation and his goal, to create a robot that will end all war, at the same time, never forgetting his true love.

The style of the album, sways a little between electronica, pop and rock, with an element or two of screamo. Yes you heard me right, I said screamo, but don’t let that put you off the album. While there are a few songs, that feature this, they are very much in context with the gloom and desperation that underlines the whole album, and are used to good effect. While I feel theres not many songs that could be potentially used as singles, that’s really not what this album offers. This is an album, of a kind that’s not often attempted, let along successfully. To me one of the best examples is Jeff Wayne’s, War of the Worlds, a sheer classic adaptation of H.G. Well’s book of the same name, or The Who’s, Tommy.

Opening with the whimsical title track, it’s easy to be fooled into thinking this is going to be some light weight, electronic, ballad album. However as “Barnacles of Time” begins, a darker side begins to emerge. This for me is the highlight of the album, with soft emotive vocals, backed by a wonderful electronic score.

The beginning of the album has an air of desperation, but it’s soon replaced by frustration, bordering on hate, which is very evident in “Carving a Canyon”. The point of this review however isn’t to pick apart the album, but to review it as a whole. As I mentioned earlier, you get a much better sense of immersion by reading the liner notes, included with the download, as a PDF file. For those wanting even more background, there is also a full comic available for purchase, which I have to say is wonderfully illustrated and gives even more background information, making the album really come alive.

Conclusion : An absolutely wonderful find. Whether you consider it a rock, electronic or concept album, there is much within to delight and enjoy. Certainly one of my top finds of 2009.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>