AlbumsNovember 29, 20118,892 views

This Day Forward Kairos


Our score 7

2/3/2002

This Day Forward's latest offering, "Kairos," retains some of the band's musical foundation from "The Transient Effects Of Light On Water," but also shows the unit branching out into different directions. As always, this can be a good or bad thing, depending on whom you ask. The most notable change to TDF's sound would be in its vocals. Vocalist Mike Shaw's manic screams of the past are still here, but plenty of singing and spoken words are used as well. With the greater use of different vocal patterns, most of the songs on the EP will begin with the half-spoken/-singing vocals that eventually lead into screams, and then seesaw between the two. For some reason, they are reminiscent of Chaka Malik's (Orange 9mm, Burn). At times, its not truly spoken word, but it isn't really singing either. That's not to say Shaw sound's like Malik, but that there are some similarities in the style of spoken vocals if you can imagine it. Elsewhere in the vocals department, Thursday front man Geoff Rickly makes a guest appearance on the last track, "Sunfalls and Watershine." Musically, there is less straightforward crunch/mosh than their last full-length. The music continues to display TDF's ability to weave melody into hardcore, but it is not as obvious as in the past. Now there are moving, sometimes-sporadic melodies and finger picking over or between the palm-muted crunch and changing rhythm patterns ("Isomorphism," for example). There is a good amount of dissonant chords and progressions used as usual, helping each song's melody to stand out even more. Most of the tracks continue to have that driving TDF feel to them, with just enough breakdowns and heavy riffs to please fans. Overall, TDF continues to churn out hardcore that includes elements of emo, metal, and even a bit of rock now. As far as the general balance and sound of the record, all parties and instruments seem to be represented well, the band is rhythmically tight, and the production is just right (it rhymes!). Visually, the CD's layout is less bright than the last record. That is probably because of the subject matter used on the cover, aptly referred to as "the monster" in the credits. The insert features different shots of what looks to be a human being made of stone, or perhaps composed of clay, given its cracked and dry texture that stands against a gray sky background. Whether there is a meaning behind the choice of the "monster," its pose (arms reaching out), or the different angles and features taken by photograph (half of a facial portrait, open hand, back of the head), is open to interpretation. Bottom Line: It may take a couple of listens to digest TDF's developing sound on this CDEP. But give it time, and it should grow on you. It's not the greatest departure from TDF's material of the past, but it is different, and not as catchy or memorable as "The Transient Effects..." Nevertheless, TDF fans should be able to get into this record. Those who aren't as familiar with TDF may want to start with the band's first Eulogy release as a starting point, and then move onto "Kairos." It'll be interesting to see what direction TDF heads toward going forward.

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