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Thomas Giles – Pulse (CD)

Thomas Giles
by Fotis Giakoub at 07 March 2011, 6:53 PM

Seriously, what’s with the band names nowadays? Why they tend to use whole sentences that rarely make sense just to be unique? You wonder what this has to do with this album review, but this was my first thought when I ‘googled’ to see who THOMAS GILES is and got as a result a group under the name BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME. Between the what and who, you say? Well at least it beats the two-dozen word song names of BAL SAGOTH in the likes of “You will read the review of the mighty THOMAS GILES that sat on the throne of Mount Ostrogoth and gazed upon the land of death and despair while holding his bastard sword up in the sky, screaming I WANT COOKIES”…Yeah, BETWEEN THE BURRIED AND ME makes more sense!

Nagging aside, BTBAM is –apparently- a big name in the States, a band that borderlines in the metalcore sound while going a bit weirdly into more progressive paths; they are actually pretty good but that’s another story. “Pulse” is the solo albums of Thomas Giles Rogers Jr aka THOMAS GILES, the creative force of the band. Eleven songs that are actually one big tribute to the artist’s influences, which means you shouldn’t expect anything near BTBAM’s sound. What you can expect is a hailstorm of different sounds and music genres under the spectrum of the artist’s talent.

After a dozen good spins it is pretty obvious that Thomas Giles got a thing for electronica and for build-up, songs like the opener –and the best song in the album- “Sleep Shake”. This song can be pretty misleading on the direction of the album but if you keep an open mind you will find something to your liking. The diversity between the song of “Pulse” It could be used for some kind of game or a pop quiz, like “Name the Influence” or something! “Catch & Release” screams NINE INCH NAILS while “Reverb Island” reminded a bit of RADIOHEAD but that doesn’t mean it lack originality. On the contrary, the quality of this release is undeniable whether you like what you are hearing or not. If you really want to “categorize” it, you can’t really put your finger on something solid; it is like the album is having a really bad mood swing!  How else can you explain the “jump” from the trippy “Reject Falicon” to the scream-o of “Medic”?

This is really a strange album; maybe because it is probably meant to be a homage and/or declaration of the artist’s musical ideals which is something that one cannot do it through a successful group as BTBAM. I can’t say I enjoyed the whole deal, but it had some pretty good moments and you can find something to return to a song. “Pulse” isn’t a love or hate it situation but if you don’t really “follow” Thomas Giles, it can leave you somehow with a bittersweet feeling. One thing is for certain though; I need to check out BTBAM ASAP!

3 Star Rating

1. Sleep Shake
2. Reverb Island
3. Mr. Bird
4. Catch & Release
5. Hamilton Anxiety Scale
6. Scared
7. Reject Falicon
8. Medic
9. Suspend the Death Watch
10. Armchair Travel
11. Hypoxia
Tommy Giles Rogers, Jr. – Pretty much everything!
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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