The Century of Self

Studio Album by released in 2009
The Century of Self's tracklist:
The Giants Causeway
The Far Pavilions
Isis Unveiled
Halcyon Days
Bells of Creation
Fields of Coal
Inland Sea
Luna Park
Pictures of an Only Child
Insatiable (One)
An August Theme
Insatiable (Two)

The Century of Self review

…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead’s first independent album

One of the most original rock bands of the present days …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead was founded in Austin, Texas, by two extraordinary musicians Jason Reece and Conrad Keely each of which had already had an experience of working with a band by that time. Soon guitarist Kevin Allen, drummer and pianist Aaron Ford, bassist Jay Phillips and pianist Clay Morris joined them. The band released several albums two of which, Worlds Apart and So Divided, were recorded on the Interscope label and became the last on it, after which the contract was ended. This February the collective’s sixth creation called as a BBC documentary, The Century Of Self, is released to become the first independently recorded album and the fist without using a click track with which all the band’s last works were recorded. A raw and fresh sounding combined with important up-to-date themes has proved to be the best change in …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead’s style and the record The Century Of Self is a great continuation of its creative path.

The Century Of Self reveals new nuances in the musicians’ playing

One listen to the album The Century Of Self is enough to understand that all the overdubbing present on …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead’s previous records has been hiding most interesting moments in the musicians’ playing. Now when the sound is not so perfect it allows to discover new nuances and hear more real, live emotions. The album consists of heavy compositions loaded with guitars and drums and softer ballads prevailing in its second half. It opens with an instrumental composition Giants Causeway preparing the listener to the coming traveling in Trail Of D Trail Of Dead’s dark, philosophic and complicated music. The song Far Pavillions amazes with a complete absence of harmony in guitars and vocals which create rather interesting effect and gradually turns into the track Isis Unveiled, again filled with unexplainable noises but refined with melodious guitars. Bells Of Creation conquers with an insane guitar solo whereas one of the album’s best tracks is Fields Of Coal: one can find the keyboards pleasantly reminding of Coldplay’s last work, expressive singing making one remember of The Cure and the trademark guitar hooks of Trail Of Dead itself. Among the best ballads it is worth mentioning Luna Park with its desperate chorus, Insatiable, Pt. 1 and Insatiable, Pt. 2, the most monumental pieces on the record with excellent arrangements and also a most beautiful, melodious interlude An August Theme.

Most natural sounding possible

No doubt when two talented musicians and singers decide to create a rock band they can be sure that the result will be at least interesting. Allegedly, the name …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead is taken from a mysterious Maya ritual chant surprisingly coinciding with an analogous Egyptian one – this already defines the band against the others. As for the music everything in it is made in the best hard-rock traditions and each album pleases with a nice choice of topic. On The Century Of Self the guys have touched upon the problems of religions, wars, consumerism, materialism and the world’s economic and financial crisis, the things of which everyone thinks nowadays. And as a sing of the band’s newly obtained independence the album cover art has been entirely made by Conrad Keely in a blue ballpoint. Chris Coady has produced the album and obviously hasn’t tried to disguise any of the sound’s shortcomings aiming at its most possible naturalness. In fact the members of …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead state that the tracks were recorded one time only played alive so throughout the record you will not help feeling that you are not listening to a studio recording but a fragment of performance the only thing missing being the shouting of a happy crowd.

Alexandra Zachernovskaya (25.02.2009)
Rate review4.00
Total votes - 3

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