Floodline | Beneath The Waves

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Beneath The Waves

by Floodline

Floodline was formed in 2003 by Daniel Hall (guitar, clean vocals & keyboards) and Jared Crabb (bass, throat vocals & drums) and are the primary members of this very promising and upcoming metal/prog band. Hailing from Spokane, WA USA, Floodline writes, r
Genre: Metal/Punk: Progressive Metal
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Show Me the Way
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9:06 $0.99
2. Innocence Lost
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7:14 $0.99
3. Cross the Line
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4:16 $0.99
4. Sink Or Swim
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7:35 $0.99
5. Rhythm of the Sea
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6:30 $0.99
6. At Any Cost
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4:06 $0.99
7. Search For Reason
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6:19 $0.99
8. Surrender
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4:23 $0.99
9. Far Apart
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6:27 $0.99
10. Constant Flow
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5:25 $0.99
11. Reborn
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Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The new release from Floodline entitled "Beneath the waves" is finally here!!!!
Floodline was formed in 2003 by Daniel Hall (guitar, clean vocals & keyboards) and Jared Crabb (bass, throat vocals & drums) and are the primary members of this very promising and upcoming metal/prog band. Hailing from Spokane, WA USA, Floodline writes, records and produces all of their own music, which is done by the two founding members in their home studios in Spokane. Other musicians have participated in their recording process on a guest musician basis, and have included Keith Brown of Atomic Clock, and Randy George of Neal Morse (with Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater on Drums). Floodline's music is best described as a mix between hard driving metal rhythms and melancholy melodic interludes and breakdowns. The vocal lines switch from Daniel's thick, Alice In Chains like melodies and harmonies to Jared's brutalizing throat vocals, creating a mix of metal, prog, and melody that stands on it's own apart from the crowd of formulaic "hardcore" sub genres.

Floodline's debut album "Passage To Dawn" was released in 2006 and can be described as a concept metal/prog album dealing with the inner struggles of ones conscience self, seen through to an ultimately liberating and enlightening end. It features 10 tracks of music ranging in style from their signature guitar & drum metal mixes, to soft instrumentals and melancholy interludes. Floodline's newest album "Beneath The Waves", due out Spring of 2009, will include 11 full length tracks. The music is much heavier overall, and was written with a straight forward and focused approach as apposed to their first album. The album's message is illustrated perfectly in the phenomenally expressive style of prog art genius Ed Unitsky. It is again somewhat of a concept, as was their first CD, but tells a story of soaring hope arising from the mire of deep disparity. The themes of each song do vary, but they, as do all Floodline songs, display a very positive attitude within the meaning. "There is way to much negativity around us, so we like to keep things positive. Even when all looks bleak, you can still find a light at the end of the tunnel and a silver lining along the edge of the darkest clouds. We want listeners to be uplifted by our music, and writing positive lyrics is one way that we try to do that."

Floodline will be playing shows regionally through the Summer of 2009, and are planning to tour soon, so keep an eye on their Myspace site for details. They are also in the process of searching for the right record label to compliment their efforts. You can hear tracks from Floodline's album "Passage To Dawn", as well as two pre-released tracks from their upcoming album "Beneath The Waves", at www.myspace.com/floodlinemusic as well as at many popular on-line music vendors such as Amazon.com, Rhapsody.com, Itunes.com, and CDBaby.com to name a few. Fans of all genres have expressed their interest in Floodline's music, and they seem to have found a niche between metal, prog, and rock that could prove to help propel their career forward



Reviews


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MetalFRO

Beneath the Waves - unique, essential prog!
As should be evident by any avid reader of my reviews, it's that I tend to gravitate towards music considered "progressive", or music that has a more intricate composition, more interesting approach, or which blends familiar musical constructs in unique & different ways. So it's no surprise that I would find Floodline's self-proclaimed "Alice in Chains meets Opeth meets Meshuggah" description both exciting & intriguing. Of course, while these kinds of descriptors are often not truly on the mark, at least they give some measure of a barometer as to what to expect when listening. For the band's debut, "Passage to Dawn", this was mostly true. There were other elements present, but the description was fairly accurate. But that's not the case with the follow-up, "Beneath the Waves".

What this sophomore album does is retain the core sound they explored on the debut, while simultaneously expanding on that sound, and improving along the way. Sophomore slump? Not here. This is a prime example of what a band should do from a debut to a second album. Rather than recording a hasty follow-up to cash in on whatever notoriety has been achieved with the debut, take a more studied & deliberate approach, allowing the musicians to grow in their abilities, songwriting, and overall compositional skills. So while the 3-year gap between the albums may seem excessive in many cases, especially given the breakneck pace at which some prolific artists or bands release albums in today's music scene, it was just the right formula for Floodline.


So while the album may be titled "Beneath the Waves" and some of the songs reference water in the titles or themes, this album soars. The combination of extreme/gruff vocals and layered "Alice in Chains" type harmonized vocals works even more seamlessly here than on the debut, the vocals have more clarity and definition, and they're just better overall. I do, at times, wish there was a bit more raw emotion in the vocals themselves, but the layering & harmonizing helps, as does the shifting back & forth between "clean" and "rough" vocal sounds to help convey more emotion than the clean sound alone is capable of doing. Vocal range isn't huge either, but the range displayed is good and it sounds as if Daniel Hall knows who he is as a vocalist, even if he does take a page too many from the Layne Staley book of singing.


Guitar sound is a touch less heavy than on the debut, but that's actually a good thing. While die-hards may call foul, the debut was plenty heavy, but the production suffered with too much noise & static. This record sounds so clean and when cranked up loud, gives you both the pounding satisfaction of a crunchy metal record, but is still pleasant to listen to the guitar sound. While this may not be important to the average metalhead, it's a hallmark of a well-produced album. Guitar playing here is varied & interesting, with plenty of chugging riffs, fast-picked solos, clean moments with lots of atmosphere, highly melodic riffs, and enough heaviness to interest fans of the heavier end of the progressive metal spectrum. The diversity of guitar sounds and textures helps make this album all the more memorable and listenable.


Bass guitar, like with much metal, is less conspicuous in the mix, but when audible outside of the riffs, is well played and doesn't detract from the rest of the music. I can't say much other than there's nothing overly outstanding about the bass playing, other than it's just well-placed within the music. Drumming is excellent, with great double bass work, interesting fills, and well-placed cymbal and tom accents that sprinkle in enough interest to add to the songs without becoming the centerpiece. This is one of the marks of a great metal drummer - they know how to strut their stuff without getting out in front of the rest of the music and taking over the whole show. Drum sound is good as well, with solid bass, tom and snare sounds, and good sounding cymbals, even if they're a touch quieter than I might prefer at times.


Keyboard work here is outstanding. I like the fact that the band included some sounds & textures not generally used in metal, like the faux Hammond B3 sound in "Show Me the Way", the delicate electric piano in "Innocence Lost", and some of the less showy symphonics littered throughout. The keyboard is used to great effect on the album, never completely dominating, but having a prominent position when necessary for maximum effect. The lengths at which the band and production team went to in order to give the keyboard the perfect footing and position within the mix paid off, as it sounds great throughout.


In terms of songwriting, this band nearly has it down to a science. With the possible exception of the unlisted final song entitled "Corrosion", a somewhat dour faux-doom piece, this album exhudes songwriting. Every song is hooky, has big riffs, contains catchy solo work, and has vocal sound that sort of sucks you in. While it's not captivating on the level of, say, Symphony X in terms of being a "grab you by the throat and don't let go until the end" kind of band, Floodline doesn't have to be that. What they do instead is generate interest by creating songs that keep interest all the way through, yet retain the length generally seen in progressive music to allow for more instrumental passages and "bigger" overall sound. The album loses a bit of steam toward the end, as many albums tend to do, but by and large, the songs on this album are a testament to the band's writing ability, especially considering these songs are much more memorable and well-written than those on the debut.


So what's the verdict? This is probably my favorite progressive metal album of 2009. I thought perhaps Orphan Project's "Spooning Out the Sea" might garner that honor, and it came very close, but this album wins by a hair. Where Orphan Project's album was a great, understated collection of hard rocking songs with enough progressive elements to break it out of the "Commercial Hard Rock" mold, this album just oozes with twists and turns, long interesting songs, and instrumental muscle to spare, in addition to all the subtle things going on here and there. So perhaps we'll call Orphan Project's album my favorite "Progressive Hard Rock" album of the year, and this becomes the reigning champion of "Progressive Metal". Truly an album not to be missed by fans of the genre, especially those looking for a prog album that not only shows off the talents of the musicians, but also comes jam-packed with good songs! Highly recommended!

90/100

Now someone needs to tell Mike Portnoy and company to take these guys out on the road, and ask them to include Menahem, Myrath, and Orphan Project - they'll very nearly have my favorite prog tour!

Originally posted at MetalFRO Review:
http://metalfroreview.blogspot.com/2010/04/floodline-beneath-waves-2009.html
Video review:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gx6_dIYG9bg