TouchÉ AmorÉ - Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me
Deathwish Inc.
13 songs (20:48)
Release year: 2011
Deathwish Inc.
Reviewed by Koeppe

Do you like witty lyrics? How about clean riffing? Actual emotion in your music? If you answered yes to any of these questions just stop reading and go find this album. You’ll be doing yourself a favor.

Jacob Bannon’s label, Deathwish Inc., has found themselves a jewel in Touché Amoré, and frankly this album didn’t receive the attention it should have last year. The band creates really simple, yet spectacular hardcore. The music formula is rather basic for TA. They rely on the simple contrast between clean instrumentation (the distortion common to metal is non-existent here) and strained vocals that are always just on the edge of giving out.

The album begins with a few tracks that are rather straightforward hardcore licks, but what makes TA stand out is the passion and desperation each tune exudes. Metallic, yet melodic riffs abound here. The band works to create epic ups and downs in just under two minutes in a way that no other band can quite match. What comes through in this album’s sound is the intensity of a great live act. The production is sleek and clean for hardcore, but it bears a visceral tone that captures everything you would want from the genre.

The track Face Ghost begins with a riff straight out of Earth’s playbook, deep and somber, before Jeremy Bolm begins belting out his feelings. Pointed guitar chords lay over top a steady but drastic drum pace, right before some simple strumming opens up for the breakdown. The song exemplifies the shifts in pace and volume that TA relies on to hook you. Head bobbing quickly shifts to headbanging only to be lulled back to a bob by the shift in speed.

What Touché Amoré has provided us with is that same energy classic Orchid albums provided filtered through pop sensibilities. That dissonance Orchid relied on has been redirected into catchy hooks, heartfelt lyrics and simple riffs. While that might sound awful to the kvlt crowd, what it results in is a truly great chunk of emotional hardcore that, clocking in at just over twenty minutes, will be done before you know it. At that length, what could it hurt but to give it at least one spin? It’ll demand a second listen, I’m sure.

Killing Songs :
~, Pathfinder, Uppers/Downers, The Great Repetition, Wants/Needs, Face Ghost, Home Away from Here
Koeppe quoted 80 / 100
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