‘The Weight Of Self’ suffers from a more lightweight guitar tone than the style demands, session drums of Kevin Paradis busy as all Hell, but somehow coming across as laid down after too few listens to the scratch tracks sent ‘cross the pond to result in anything he’s emotionally involved in. Vocalist/guitarist/synth-ist (synthesizerist? synther?) Scott Skopec has a fine death delivery, no doubt heavily influenced by the other guitarist – and only other actual member – Ethan Gifford’s Gothenburg surroundings, and both ‘Metaviral’ and ‘Walking The Parapets’ wave proudly the flag of G-burg’s melodic death past both in arrangement and execution.

‘Last Train From Myrdal’ begins, near-wistful, contemplative guitar figures above a soothing bed of synths, the feeling of a journey soon to begin. An arrival or a leaving? Likely both, as one ends another begins. The tune takes shape naturally, shades of KATATONIA and PARADISE LOST (think One Second) Frank Lato’s session bass swirling around, a fog travelled through as we move down the track, the lyric “I live in your memory / No place for me here anymore” playing through the past as the future unfolds. In all aspects, ‘Last Train…’ is perfectly placed on this debut, the tipping point on which Of Crackling Embers & Sorrows Drowned balances.

The tone issue of before seems to have been remedied by now, ‘The Recidivist’ having the bite missing from the album earlier on. There’s a bit more ‘TALLICA than I’d like in the melody like of the chorus, and there’s a moment (4:59-5:10) where it seems the band’s forgotten which song they’re on, but a tasteful solo and slower pace rein in the confusion in time for the coda.

The idea of a 10-minute finale is ballsy for the majority of bands, and for a band who’ve likely never recorded in the same room, a recipe for disaster; still, ‘The Maddening Symmetries’ is coherent, technically proficient and sonically pleasing overall. The sections are laid out with care, not haphazardly tossed together, resulting in a satisfying end to things.

BRAZEN TONGUE still has work to do; that’s clear, and I believe the band would agree. Finding a full-time rhythm section, spending time giving a more “alive” feeling to the songs should be key, especially with such emotionally weighty and lyrically fertile soil as is found herein. A worthy first showing from a band that would serve itself best by moving beyond the sum of its influences.
Review By: Lord Randall

Of Crackling Embers & Sorrows Drowned