review published: 12/21/2014
Letallis is a one man band based out of New York. Resonate is the band's latest effort.
Rooted mainly in metalcore, Letallis touches upon death metal, power metal, nu-metal, and even folk metal. The end result is a very uneven, somewhat confusing listen. Now, that's not to say that there isn't anything here to enjoy, but the main issue is that he, Jake Calonius, draws from far too a wide array of influences.
Resonate is at its best with tracks like opener "In All Forms" and "Idle Fears" which rely heavily on catchy groove based riffs. Think of that one riff from CKY's "96 Quite Bitter Beings," but the comparison doesn't end there because like CKY all these songs suffer from a lack of engaging song writing.
I am hard pressed to come up with an accurate comparison relative to the record's overall sound, for which credit must be given for originality, but also because most of the songs just seem to wander aimlessly. "Dissonant Hand" and "Betrayal" are a mess of pieces thrown together. There's a little bit of everything: breakdowns, guitar solos, nu-metal staccato riffs.
Things even get weird as it goes on. There's an oddly placed drum solo accompanied by a sample of chirping birds in "Viridian," and "How Vast?" similarly takes a sudden break mid-song, albeit this time to feature a countdown to nothing played over a bed of reverbrating guitar. The strangest inclusion is the song "Mirage," a folk metal inspired track built around a Celtic sounding acoustic guitar part. This is also the only track to feature cleanly sung vocals, which it could certainly do without.
There are a few moments when it seems like something truly interesting might happen, like when "Bed Of Stars" and "Reflecting" drop into mellow, clean guitar based instrumental sections. Calonius has proven he can play an interesting lead part (see: midway through "The Darkness Of Mere Being"), but for some reason chooses not to in these sections that could use it most. Instead, they just trudge along, filling the gap.
At 12 tracks and 66 minutes, Resonate is too long for its own good. There is plenty of material that could be edited to make a much more concise an effective record. There are simply too many different things happening for the album to be this uninteresting.
Bottom Line: Kudos to this fellow for making a really original sounding recording, but more often than not, less is much more. My advice would be to narrow the scope, trim the fat and invite some players to contribute and bounce ideas off of.
Track Listing: 01. In All Forms 02. Within Reach 03. The Darkness Of Mere Being 04. Bed Of Stars 05. Viridian 06. Dissonant Hand 07. Idle Fears 08. Mirage 09. How Vast? 10. Betrayal 11. Reflecting 12. Resonate