Sometimes taking a period of time off from an art you are passionate about can be needed. Even though this art is something of value, stepping back can allow for a more clear and concise vision when coming back to the canvas. Everything in Slow Motion have been fairly silent for the last three years, taking that time off to create a new collection of five songs in the form of “Laid Low”. This album, while short in length, still offers substance in taking the “All killer, no filler approach”.
Kicking off with heavy reverb on both guitar and vocals before kicking into a tom drum heavy groove, Coma is one of the strongest songs in Everything in Slow Motion’s discography. The three guitar onslaught provides a lush backdrop for Shane Ochsner’s harshly beautiful vocals to shine. Specifically in the chorus of the song, the frontman excels as he belts the earworm inducing line, “Take your time / I’ll be here when you arrive”.
Some of the best instrumentation on the album finds its way in Bad Season, namely in the guitar department. The guitar leads noticeably penetrate the foreground to add an ethereal mood to the song, while the rhytm section provides a steady wall dark tone adding a perfect contrast to the overdriven picking.
I Am Laid Low stands out from the rest of the pack in that it’s the only song on the record to feature screaming. While EISM have never really prided themselves for guttural growls, focusing more on atmosphere for heaviness, the tactful use of screaming amidst one of the slower songs allows for the emotion to really shine and hit home. Additionally, the last minute of this tune features some of the most heavily atmospheric shredding I have heard come from Ochsner’s hands.
The penultimate track, Runaway starts out a little slow, with Ochsner asking “If I could pull this all apart / where would I end / where would you start?”. The soaring chorus of the track provides a decadent contrast to the low key verses giving this song a little something for everyone. The chunky, Norma Jean esqe riff towards the back half of the song is also sure to catch the attention of the most devout metal heads.
The album ends with the slow burner, Capella, which comes across as a more personal and intimate song. Ochsner toys with gang vocals and reverb soaked guitars to flesh out the atmosphere of the song, leaving things sounding a little more empty and vulnerable than previous tracks on the record. Heck, he even throws a gong into the mix for the climax of the song.
Overall: While “Laid Low” is a shorter offering, the EP is able to trim some of the fat that held EISM’s full length, “Phoenix” from being a perfect album. Additionally, the length is sure to whet the appetite of listeners and make them hungry for the next musical offering from the atmospheric powerhouse.