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Painted In Exile - The Ordeal

Painted In Exile
The Ordeal
by Nick Webb at 17 November 2016, 11:04 PM

I am still confused as to what I should write about PAINTED IN EXILE and their new album “The Ordeal”. Large parts of this record are made up of incredibly generic, overly brutal Metal that completely overlooks everything about anything; making most of it sound almost like 3rd rate Metalcore. Then, they hit you with tracks like “Jupiter”- an epic progressive song with sections that move from gentle balladry to complex instrumentals and solos, to beautifully crafted melodies that underscore the screamed vocals.

In several places it almost sounds as if PAINTED IN EXILE are a few separate groups trying to reconcile with themselves and this is where they have end up. “DM”’s heaviest screamed vocal sections are underscored with gorgeous piano melodies and choral sections that occasionally work…and occasionally don’t. The two, however, feel more like they are pulling themselves apart, rather than creating a cohesive whole.

The extended lengths of both “DM” and “Jupiter” give them both a great deal of scope for development and exploration of various ideas – such as using different sounds and influences to create almost classical compositions. Yet the shorter tracks, especially the heavier ones, hold nothing of interest. The breakdowns - which are intended to be brutal (br00tal?) - come across as boring, and the riffs along with the vocals could come from any of the modern Progressive Death Metal groups. Still, every now and again, there are moments of musical interest, little twiddles and flourishes here and there; such as the brief sections of avant-garde piano within larger songs.

In the end, this album is made for a specific group of people who like a particular style of music. There are occasional progressive moments within the overall darkness of “The Ordeal” and the potential is there within the longer songs, but it’s a shame that it didn’t find enough space to surface.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 5
Memorability: 5
Production: 7

2 Star Rating

  1. House of Cards
  2. Welcome (One and All)
  3. The Bazaar
  4. Jupiter
  5. Transition Wow
  6. DM
  7. Not for Nothin'
  8. Like a Memory
  9. These People
  10. My Keeper
Robert Richards – Vocals
Ivan Chopik – Guitar
Marc Lambert – Guitar
Alan Hankers – Piano & Keyboard
Jacob Umansky – Bass & Backing Vocals
Eddie DeCesare – Drums & Percussion
Record Label: Independent


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