2005 Season Of Mist
1. Cross the Bar
2. Until Tomorrow
3. Wigstand MP3
4. Blueprint Soul
5. The Downside
6. Sour Times
8. Strata of Fear
Unfortunately, in music in general, and metal and hardcore more specifically, many bands that should still exist break up, never to reunite. It is as if only the pathetic bands remain, and the ones worth remembering quickly burn out. However, sometimes bands get back together, which in themselves, can then also be either fantastic or completely lackluster. Confessor is a band that some might remember, while many others will probably not, that has reunited to once again grace the scene of metal.
Confessor's original appearance was short lived in the late 80s and early 90s. In that short time, the band managed to carve out a niche in the scene that took years to grow, and is now more readily seen than was the case in Confessor's early days. More specifically, Confessor was one of the first bands (alongside other originators like Atheist) to become more progressive in musical texture and sound. Confessor blended mid to slow tempo grooves that embodied many different time signatures instead of opting for the frenetically paced thrash or early blasting death metal popular at the time. This adoption of style allowed Confessor to better explore the creative process of songwriting and further expand their music. The result was something that was quickly embraced by some, but that didn't last long enough to be remembered by most.
Fortunately for metal fans, Confessor have returned and produced a new album titled Unraveled. The music is similar in style and sound to previous releases on Earache and elsewhere, though with obvious improvements since their last recording, such as better production. As mentioned previously, Confessor prefer to settle nicely in the mid to slow tempo range, and do not usually stray from this. One of the highlights of the group is without a doubt the drumming, which forms the base of what the band does as a whole. Though not as complicated at times, it is easy to see how drumming of this caliber could have influenced bands as diverse as Meshuggah and Botch in terms of the feel, sound, and mix of time signatures used. The guitars and bass combination is near perfectly balanced, and engage in well-written and executed riffs that bring to mind disparate references from Crowbar to Shiner to some of the slower Slayer material. The band doesn't dwell on one section of a song too long, and changes things up nicely even adding in some exploratory guitar solos here and there. Another distinct part of Confessor is the vocals. Considering the band Alice in Chains was starting at the same time as Confessor in the late 80s, it is difficult to discern whether the bands influenced each other or not. However, some of the vocal work in Confessor is very close at times to Layne Staley. Other times the vocalist demonstrates a nice range that is clearly his own sound, though always remaining clean and never screaming.
Bottom Line: Similar to other current metal bands like Grand Magus who take a more traditional approach to metal, and who spend a great deal of focus and time on the craft of songwriting, Confessor are surely a breath of fresh air on the current metal scene. If you are familiar with the early output of the band, then you will surely like the new material equally. If you are not familiar with Confessor, and are a fan of metal in general, then you should definitely acquaint yourself with the newly reincarnated.