Painted In Exile
The Ordeal

Back in 2009 Long Island’s  Painted In Exile released a killer 3 song EP called Revitalized. Riding the popularity of bands like of Between the Buried and Me, Protest the Hero, The Human Abstract, Periphery, Born of Osiris etc, the band was a experimental fusion of shredding metalcore, deathcore, mathcore, jazz, prog metal and even rap. They were rumored to be signing to Metal Blade Records (who then signed Across the Sun in 2011, seemingly filling that spot/niche) and seemed to be ready to explode……….then other than a teaser in 2011 and single in 2014…… nothing.

Well, 7 long years later, the band has finally released a new, aptly crowdfunded album and they have not missed a beat. The same BTBAM inspired take on metal is here with a wide array of every sort of style imaginable, and boy it it good. No not good….GREAT.

As ambitious as it was delayed, The Ordeal is a svelte. brutal, experimental, complex, unpredictable, progressive monster of a record. Driven by the smooth clean vocals of Robert Richards, who does clean croons perfectly for this music ( backed by plenty of deathcore growls and screams), the mathcore/tech metal backbone is layered with keyboards, brutal breakdowns, glimmering sweeps, contemplative acoustics, blistering blasts and everything in between.

The album comes right out of the gate with “House of Cards”, no intro or build up, just a big burly growling lurch and a soaring vocal bridge to die for. After ” Welcome (One And Come All)”, a short interlude (which would have been a more apt album opener), you get another barnstormer in “The Bazaar”, which could have opened the album equally as effectively, and has a piano transition and blast beat about 4:16 that’s simply stunning.

The we get the album’s first real progressive monster with the 10 minute, “Jupiter”, which starts as a beautiful acoustic ballad, descends into a nice jazzy interlude then explodes for its final 2 minutes into a shimmering deathcore lumber and lope. The 12 minute “DM” (the single from 2014), closely resembles the tracks from the band’s EP with a scattershot, blasting start and stuttering, staggering chaotic math core pace before a lengthy  mid song break of tinkling ivories and delicate guitar work. Then a jarring return to the staccato death core chaos for the tracks second half.

As what appears as a middle finger to the critics of “Skylines” from the EP, there’s a 43 second rap metal interlude by way of “Not for Nothin'”, then a 3 minute instrumental/atmospheric piece, that almost brings the album to a bit of a lull. But the melodic (almost melo-death) gallop and clean chorus of “These People”, picks things back up in a big way. “My Keeper” closes things out with a somber atmospheric piece, that probably wasn’t really needed other than an endcap.

Having soured a little on BTBAM and the style over all ( I haven’t even bothered to check out Protest the Hero‘s latest release, Pacific Myth) I have not really cared for a release of this nature since Sons of Aurelius’s Under A Western Sun, a couple of years ago. But The Ordeal along with Oni’s Ironshore,  has revitalized me (pun fully intended), and shows Painted In Exile‘s return was more than worth the wait.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
December 19th, 2016

Comments

  1. Commented by: V

    Loved their previous EP, but didn’t really get into this one. The flow of the album feels weird, and I didn’t like Jupiter which takes up a lot of space in the middle of the album. Gotta say that DM is really, really good though.

    Kinda curious about your thoughts on the new Zao Mr. Thomas (long time reader here!).


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