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From A Second Story Window Conversations

From A Second Story Window - Conversations
01. Most of Us Are Normal
02. Self Admitted
03. Leaving the Earth
04. Monumental Treason
05. The Burning Bush
06. Severed Heads Open Minds
07. A Swarm of Bees
08. Advancement Towards Nothingness
09. Stolen Lands
10. When Harry Lost Sally
2008 Black Market Activities

Reviewed by: Nick   //   Published: 8/21/2008

Where in the metal and hardcore handbook does it say that "natural progression" must be coupled with a more melodic sound Is it in chapter eight Is my copy missing a few pages Sure, there are a few counterexamples of bands that have continued to prosper with a more melodic sound (Cave In and Entombed, among others) and even those who reverse the process and develop a more abrasive edge (last year's release by pop-punk turned screamo act The Kidcrash provides a nice example), but one doesn't have to be an expert in the genres to know that this "natural progression" often spells disaster. And unfortunately for Black Market Activities' From a Second Story Window, their third release, Conversations, delivers the textbook example.

While the band's debut, Not One Word Has Been Omitted, wasn't exactly an instant classic, its combination of frenzied song structures, some grindier moments, and intermittent breakdowns became a standard for the chaotic metalcore style. The band's follow-up release, Delenda, showcased an increased technical component, but ultimately proved to be hindered by a stronger melodic presence and the inclusion of clean singing. With Conversations, the band has yet to right itself, falling deeper and deeper into the bowels of forgettable metalcore obscurity.

Although Conversations is still recognizable as a From a Second Story Window record, the band's songwriting mentality has hit rock bottom. Few moments offer the same chaotic style once delivered on past records. Instead, a more fluid (and incredibly monotonous) songwriting approach has taken over as the norm. The album opener, "Most of Us Are Normal," wastes no time in displaying that the From a Second Story Window of old is long gone as it reveals itself as a slowly developing ballad accompanied entirely by clean singing. "Self Admitted" bares the lifeless formula used throughout the remainder of the disc: periods of metalcore chugging coupled with low growls alternating with sections of clean singing over smoother guitar melodies. And since the band rarely strays from this combination (closing track, "When Harry Lost Sally," does indeed stray - but by delivering another uninspired ballad attempt), it appears that Conversations is yet one more example of highly polished, highly predictable, and highly forgettable metalcore for the masses.

Bottom Line: Conversations is an album that has been written a hundred times over due to the explosion of metalcore within the extreme music scene. The lone difference here is that From a Second Story Window was once near the forefront of the genre, only to eventually fall in line four years later with this release. Even fans of polished metalcore should be getting burnt out on stuff like this by now.

uhfiuhgoiu_   posted 4/15/2009 11:08:38 PM
It's obvious that everyone on Lambgoat hates clean vocals and just want to listen to nonstop intelligible death growling. becuz tr00 metul duznt need 2 hav actul talnt nd jsut hav da same br00tul deth metul/blak metul!!!!1
O NOES NOT C LEAN SINGING_   posted 3/27/2009 3:30:37 PM
Oh noes, it has clean singing! Oh no, not that! It must be terrible! They're actually trying to do something other than death growls! But it sucks because it's apparently -core and has clean singing! I masturbate to pictures of Corpsegrinder every night!!!111

anonymous   posted 9/23/2008 12:38:47 PM
hmmmm_   posted 8/30/2008 10:29:04 PM
I gotta admit, the dude above saying they sounded like shit live, very true, seen them 3 times live in betweem the 2003-2006 era, and they flailed around way too much (both with old guitarist who went bat-shit insane and the newer one) to really have the music be HEARD.... I do disagree that it wasnt an entertaining live show however. Late 90's DEP-shock show wannabe's yes.
yeah_   posted 8/28/2008 3:04:59 PM
awful band, awful album. total jokes. especially will, and his "singing".

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