AlbumsNovember 29, 20118,692 views

Battlefields Thresholds of Imbalance


01. Disacknowledge 02. Stasis 03. Blueprint 04. Approaching 05. The Thresholds 06. Of Imbalance 07. Quake and Flood 08. Nibiru 09. Majestic
2009 Translation Loss Records
Our score 8

by Nick
4/11/2009

Midwestern metal act Battlefields has been picking up a lot of steam since its inception only a few years ago. The group's last two releases carved out a nice niche in the world of all things slow and heavy by jamming together mellow Red Sparowes-esque moments with metallic hardcore eruptions ala Old Man Gloom and Converge. The band also recently found a proper home on Translation Loss amongst a number of exceptional, like-minded peers, a move which only added to the expectations for their full-length debut. And it goes without saying that it feels like in every passing moment another kid discovers the greatness of Through Silver in Blood, grabs a down-tuned guitar, and forms a tribute band. In my mind, that's still a great thing, but it certainly drives up the competition in the narrow sliver of the sub-genre. So, against these odds and expectations, how does Thresholds of Imbalance stack up Quite phenomenally, actually. Their success comes not only with superb execution, but also with a songwriting mentality that is fundamentally different than a great chunk of their peers. While many bands are concerned with thick, sludgy grooves and melodic atmosphere, Battlefields secured a leading spot by pushing their sound into a more desolate corner of the genre. The grooves and the ambience still make their appearances, but an impressively depressing feel and an austere visual aesthetic are the front-and-center elements that drive the record's excellence. Album opener "Disacknowledge" begins with sparse instrumentation that feels like Kayo Dot mixed with a slight touch of Khanate-ish, unsettling rhythm before locking into slow-motion metallic chugging and layers of grating screams. It swells with distortion and more up-beat drumming, but never loses its bleak disposition. With the exception of a lone guitar lead, "Blueprint" isn't concerned too much with melodic gratification; it instead places much of its focus on slow-moving, gloomy chord progressions to create a disheartening tone. And "Quake and Flood" feels notably heavy on the scales, courtesy of its sluggish pace and lethargic movement. When combined, these nine tracks flow together perfectly, creating a 58 minute, monolithic slab of intelligent heaviness. Thresholds of Imbalance definitely has a lot to offer, even for listeners well-acquainted with the style of music. Its often meandering nature and minimal use of melody make it less accessible at first, but the reward is a record that achieves a clear songwriting goal and expands the boundaries of modern sludge and doom metal in the process. Battlefields is of a different breed than the current pack of Neur-Isis sound-a-likes. And a lot of people will undoubtedly appreciate that. Bottom Line: Battlefields knew exactly what they were doing with Thresholds of Imbalance. Their debut full-length retains all of the explosiveness and abrasiveness that made their first two releases so appealing, but it also takes a major step in a more depressing, less accessible direction. It might take a few listens, but it won't be long before sludge and doom metal fans will be all over this.

23 comments

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Dalton_ 4/11/2009 5:27:47 PM

You play the most boring brand of sludge out there. Bring back Dispensing Of False Halos, gays!

RowdyRoddyPiper_ 4/11/2009 7:43:02 PM

AWESOME live band. But, their albums are hard to listen to straight through unless you're reefed.

tower_ 4/11/2009 8:41:53 PM

I enjoy this band. Have yet to hear this album though.

dak7b9_ 4/11/2009 9:03:51 PM

good review. i'm loving the album as well, even more than SWTBOAE, and just played with them in Columbia a couple nights ago. their live show still owns.

xote_ 4/12/2009 2:01:02 AM

Good band/guys and no they should not bring back Flas Halos erver.

Fur_Beach_ 4/12/2009 2:23:32 PM

i enjoy this.

the_smile_that_kills_ 4/12/2009 8:34:11 PM

samael >

arty_mcfarty_ 4/12/2009 10:13:16 PM

i downloaded this and it was unlistenable boring and the vocals were terrible

biased reviews_ 4/13/2009 9:49:11 AM

WOW another review for a doom/sludge/grind/tech/converge/ISIS/pelican band that lambgoat can't help but jock. listen to some music that actually sounds like music you f*cking idiots. "groundbreaking" doesn't mean 10 minute songs of 5 chords being played.

xcorruptx_ 4/13/2009 12:35:57 PM

good dudes, great live show. Hard hitting drummmer. Definitely depressing though, so make sure you're man enough to listen w/o slitting your little emo wrists.

MoustacheMassacre_ 4/13/2009 2:22:57 PM

Enjoy band. Will check this one out.

cantfakethepunk_ 4/13/2009 5:18:22 PM

who will lemme swallow their stuff?

blago_ 4/14/2009 10:25:23 PM

are you f*cking kidding me? they were the musical eqivilent of ass piss hitting the toilet water..... battlefields isnt that good, either.

markingonthewall_ 4/29/2009 11:23:16 AM

Granted, there are some blatant "Through Silver in Blood" moments, I feel like this is BF's most expansive and well thought out record to date. I would like to hear more of their metal side next time around.

levelplane_ 6/30/2009 1:02:24 AM

These guys suck!! I heard that Matt is f*cking Andys wife. Thats f*cked up. Andy is a chump. Battlefields sucks.

sammy d_ 7/3/2009 1:24:09 AM

I heard from my brother who is friends with these guys, that they were stuckup jerks. He told me that they sleep with eachothers girlfriends and shit like that and that they are alright with eachother doing so. That is messed up. Musically as bad. Ive never meet they guys so i could be way wrong, and rumors are rumors, but I dont like this band. Simply put, its too long and boring and simple. plus to hear that they are jerks makes it worse for me.

rExxx_ 7/3/2009 1:49:34 AM

I thought this was a demo. sounds terrible. they also straight up stole a part from you fail me from converge. and its the only good part of the f*ckin album. for real, when are shitty bands going to give up and quit? It feels like this doom crap is being crammed down our necks. I hate Battlefields and think that they ruined the doom genre.

KrAgg_ 7/3/2009 11:14:25 PM

Another bullshit group of gays that cant grow up and let the rockstar dream die, guess what guys...you make bad music that is terribly recorded. Stop trying to make it, and just realize that you are destroying music. I hate you.

Gathridge_ 7/9/2009 2:52:39 AM

Is it true that the guitar players in batlefields are f*cking the same chick? I heard they were and that its cool with all of them... Is this true? Someone please tell me. Thats f*cking weird if its true.

TimTim_ 7/13/2009 1:44:14 AM

Its true ive heard,they r frm my hometown,and thats da rumor dat has been flying around fora while. I think that the fat guitar player is living with the other guitar players wife now. Thats what i heard around the downtown bar scene anyway. General concencious around town is that these guys think they are too cool for fargo. I think there are like 4 or 5 other bands from town that are much better. There is actually a couple of good hard bands in town. Life Wont Wait, Dynamiteasauras, Sleepin

rock_ 7/30/2009 3:02:05 AM

All Fargo Bands Suck. All the bands on that list above, look them up. they all suck. f*ck you midwest gays. get it through your heads that noone cares about you. every fargo band should quit. or better yet die.

RockedGapingAsshole_ 5/11/2010 10:26:50 PM

Wow, what a c-mdumpster little gay. At least have the balls to throw out your real name, and a proof that you don't suck your dads hairy cl*t. Bring it, you little bitch. I'll f*cking own you.

anonymous 3/22/2012 12:18:41 AM

battlefields should be killed, live on television. the music is that bad. i want to know that they are dead and that they can never hurt anyone ever again.