Album: In Parables
Release Date: November 22, 2010
Reviewer: Joshua Clark
Adeste is a six-member band out of Orlando, Florida and was formed in February 2007. They are labeled as a screamo/hardcore/ambient band. In 2008, they started working on their debut project, In Parables. The project was finally completed in the summer of 2010. While taking a little longer than expected, the wait was worthwhile when, upon listening you can tell a lot of time and energy went into this album. In Parables will finally be releasing November 22, 2010.
In Parables is a concept album that tells a story from beginning to end. Now concept albums are always an interesting idea that can be pretty enjoyable when pulled off right. Then on the flip side, pretty disappointing when not done too effectively. In this case I was really intrigued with the concept in this album and loved how it turned out. This album tells the story of a boy on a search for truth and what trials and difficulties he faces along the way. You can tell how much went into the songwriting of this album by the way the songs craft a true epic.
Lead vocalist Nathan Puhr serves up some rather impressive screaming. His screams are pretty consistent through out the album and for the most part keep the same tone, yet they are solid. He has a nice pitch and varies his scream up just enough to keep the listener interested. To backup the screaming, are some decent clean vocals, sported by the bands two guitarists. Another plus is they aren’t the typical high and whiny vocals that tend to be a trademark of every metal band’s clean vocalist. Instead of the annoying switch from screaming to clean vocals, that a lot of bands tend to lean towards, the screaming definitely makes up a majority of the vocals. But the clean vocals are added in at strategic times and help strengthen the songs with their placement, instead of weakening them
There is a lot going on in each and every one of these tracks. Each member shows their talent pertaining to their respective instrument. All these songs are made up of so many different musical parts, speeds, and atmospheres that they create a truly intriguing experience in each track. Adeste demonstrates such a level of skill and precision from each band member, and a noticeable delicate touch that was administered over these tracks; to make them as great as they could be. The band makes each song such a complete experience with all the different changes in the style of playing. This makes each track something exciting and you definitely won’t see these songs sounding the same track-to-track.
The drummer for Adeste, Jeff McMaster, throws in some awesome drum fills and he shows great control by being able to pound away on the more aggressive parts and roll along smoothly on the quieter segments. A pleasant surprise in this album is that you can actually make out the bass at times. This has become quite rare to hear from any form of metal, in general, so it’s pretty darn sweet to hear, courtesy of Jason McMaster. Particularly in the track “Numbers,” there is a nice part where the bass and drums alternate back and forth for a short segment and sounds pretty neat.
Guitarists Morgan Hopfensperger and Marco Randazzo are the driving force on a number of these tracks, becoming the main musical focus in most cases. These guys have some pummeling and aggressive riffs at numerous points through this album. Yet at the same time they add in a real smooth sound when tracks focus more on ambient sound effects. They also add in a lot of intricate guitar parts and just help make the music something deep, that you can dive into. The guitars give a lot of life into this album and at least in my opinion are a major highlight from this band.
It is worth taking the time to talk about the ambient sounds/synth effects throughout the album, provided by keyboardist Brian Waters. They either serve as a backdrop or get there fair share of attention throughout the course of the album. In many cases these effects and the keys become the backbone of the music by giving a solid sound for the rest of the instruments to work off of. These sounds mesh well with the guitars and give an added texture to the music. They also break up the heavy sound by providing a number of quieter moments. The real ambient moments are really pleasant and soothing. I also think it is really neat that the keys and synth effects are placed in certain spots to make a contrast of heavy and calm.
The majority of In Parables is loud, chaotic, and heavy, but with the ambient sounds in place, it balances the sound out from being anything too intense. There are also a few instrumental tracks that help break up the chaos and give the listener a chance to float away with the soothing sounds. The instrumental in the middle of the album, “Stasis,” is placed particularly well; with it being right in the center of the album giving us a nice break in the journey.
As amazing as the music is, the story crafted in this album has to be my favorite aspect. There is a lot of depth to these lyrics and it is some impressive song writing. I like how the band can make an engaging story, yet at the same time this story is relatable to each and every one of us. Every human, whether they focus on it or not is looking for truth; which makes this tale relatable to anyone, since everyone is longing for answers and an ultimate truth. This story shows the quest for truth and all of the experiences and trials that occur along that road. Most of the road is long and challenging but the key is that the journey is worth it in the end and redemption is found. This story is weaved in tightly and flows seamlessly track-to-track. Even if you don’t care for the music, the story itself is interesting enough to look into.
Even though I enjoyed each song individually, its best to listen to the album as a whole to fully appreciate the tracks and understand the full story. There is one song in particular though that stood out to me, which was the final track “Redemption.” This song does a great job of wrapping up the adventure and brings everything to a nice close. The last few lines stood out to me:
Far off the path that I began I found love but I was forced to watch it drown/ Revenge compelled me to burn my past alive and give into my demise/ But my father tells me no, “son continue on this road.”/ Down this path we proceed/ Keeping faith in our reach
Overall: I didn’t know what to expect upon receiving this CD from the band. I had heard a couple songs off a stream and they sounded good. But I did not expect to like it this much. Adeste has truly crafted a beautiful story and some equally impressive music. For the bands first album I’m blown away with how great this sounds production-wise and just the level of talent all these band members possess. Adeste’s sound is fine tuned, passionate, and one enjoyable journey from start to finish. While not perfect, In Parables is definitely solid and worth checking out. This is a band I intend to keep a close eye on in the future and I’m very excited to see where that will take them.