The Pitch: L.A.'s atmospheric black and progressive project Oskoreien returns with more of that forward-thinking West Coast flair. All Too Human is a concept album about free will inspired by the story of Charles Whitman ("The Texas Tower Sniper"). FFO So Hideous, Anagnorosis, Archivist, Panopticon
What I Like: Those guitar leads...so ethereal. "Moai" is simply captivating. This album actually reminds me more of seeing instrumental progressive acts in Chicago than your typical atmospheric BM; Russian Circles, An Aesthetic Anaesthetic, and all that. The only real difference is the distant howls of sole member Jay Valena that seem to come from the back of an otherwise empty cell. He composed, performed, recorded, and mixed nearly all of this himself. This is a high quality outcome for something like that. In any case, the superb pacing and performances of these four tracks carry just as much weight as the bleak story they tell. You can really hear the slow progression from cheerful beginnings to the resonating, hellish doom of concluding track, "My Flesh is But A Vessel."
What I Don't Like: This makes me depressed as hell. But then again, life ain't all Cinnamin Toast Crunch and Saturday morning cartoons.
The Verdict: A stunning portrayal of some profoundly tragic events without a decipherable word needing to be uttered. The drums, bass, shrieks, and especially the guitars adeptly tell the tale of a normal man striving to be a good husband, son, and countryman only to be crushed by the weight of the world. A real life fall from grace if there ever was one.
Flight's Fav's: Moai, Green & Maroon
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