November 5, 1955
Bears of the Sea

Here’s one of Ironclads better and more mellow releases of late, the Back to the Future named metalcore/post rock act from Boston, Mass who deliver a fine debut of emotional, melodic metalcore with threads of delicate passion and elegance.

With busy, melodic guitar work and vocal cadence of Shai Hulud, shimmery emotional layers of Misery Signals and Life In Your Way and some delicate strains of cascading post rock/alt rock a la At The Soundawn, Day Without Dawn etc, November 5, 1955 are one of the more varied, enjoyable and fresh metalcore bands I’ve heard this year.

If you are still reading, you need to grab this. It’s a perfect amalgamation of all the above bands and elements delivering a forcefully, yet elegantly crafted sense of prose and dramatics without entering emo territory. Vocalist Jason Maas (who also produced) has an adequately emotional shout and never veers into clean vocals or whining. His and Gus Pesce’s guitars deliver a continual sea of fluid, choppy yet harmonic, intricate riffs that weave and shimmer with grace, yet purposeful heft (“We are (Rainbow Bridge)”, “Once a Victim, Twice a Volunteer”, “Functionaries”). When the band do shift gears and enter more ambient and introspective realms as heard on “Canada is For Liars”, “Precursor” and closer “A Farewell Waltz” it’s an artful and still urgent shift, but rendered with a more restrained and paced sense of straining emotion.

Overall, and very nice release from a relatively out of nowhere band that should appeal to any of the acts I’ve mentioned above and certainly an band I’ll be watching out for as they develop and mature.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
September 21st, 2008

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