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Vorstellan - Encephalon

Vorstellan
Encephalon
by Alan Stevens at 30 March 2020, 2:33 PM

What Brings You Here Today?” - Doctor (VORSTELLAN - Encephalon)
VORSTELLAN is a Duo project featuring Matt Donaldson on Drums and Percussion, and Jacob Knight on Lead Vocals and Guitar. Their output is described similar to Placebo and Silverchair, with their debut album ”Encephalon” featuring strong roots in Alternative rock, but with an inflective vibe focusing on loss and suffering. Through the shared musical themes and lyrics, you can really feel the honest pain these two have poured into these recordings.

The album opens with a psychiatrist or Doctor speaking directly to the listener, similar to DREAM THEATREMetropolis Pt 2. Scenes from a Memory”. The Medical professional mentions that you (the main character) have been attending sessions since an accident, and what follows are songs that are like the characters reply to these questions; their monologues of hurt. At one point later in the album, the Doctor speaks again, suggesting that what the lyrics are describing, may actually just be “figments of imagination, due to recent stress…” “Monster” is the first track, a nice and easy, head bobbing classic metal piece with interesting chord progressions and a groove similar to KORN's "Blind," matched with Jacob's singing and deep lyrics,    reminding me of Adam Gontier. An easy to listen background piece, but I feel the hooks of the song have been dulled down. “Novocaine” Brings be back to the late nineties Placebo. Jacob clearly not only a fan but has a similar vocal range and tone of Brian Molko. Again a nice song, not a band you'd find yourself diving into the mosh pit for but one that would be enjoyed best leaning back against the bar, watched from afar, while sipping on your beverage of choice. “Avalanche” is a nice, drifting ballad which ends with the sound of a Car Crash and the Doctor returning with more questions. This followed quickly by “Home”, a very Nu-Metal track which, ironically, would find it's home in any old school metal fan's playlist. “A Thousand Smiles” is another ballad with a slight STATIC X sound, slow with a heavy, melancholy vibe, but with such a common riff and guitar sound that it almost becomes cliché…

The rest of the album has some nice tracks but individually they lack anything to really stand out, but I feel that is not the point, as once you get to the end of the album, these last few tracks really sum up the album as a whole and the final “Hidden Track” is a very nice Acoustic which neatly wraps up the themes and messages of the whole record. “Encephalon” is truly for the lost and damned, for those wallowing in yourself, this touches at the heart of pain and loss, through it's musical themes and lyrical elements, Jacob and Matt have put forward a deep and powerful album, subtle in it's ease at being left on in the background, but upon closer inspection, these two artists are pouring their heart and experiences into these tracks.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 5
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Monster
2. Novocaine
3. Avalanche
4. Home
5. A Thousand Smiles
6. Running Away
7. Burn
8. My Disaster
Lineup:
Jacob Knight – Lead Vocals / Guitarist
Matt Donaldson – Drums / Percussion
Record Label: SaN Promotions
     


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