When I first heard the word ‘cacophony,’ I was thirteen years old reading the song titles on the back of Blink-182’s Cheshire Cat, and I just assumed the word had some dirty connotation to it, as those are the ways of that loveable trio. I eventually found out that the word had more to do with Dillinger Escape Plan and Ion Dissonance than any sort of human excrement. And if ever there was a word to describe Swarm of the Lotus and their sophomore effort The Sirens of Silence, it’s cacophonous.
Injecting a healthy dose of metal into the Abacus records roster, Swarm of the Lotus appear to be a real force to be reckoned with, and a very, very loud force at that. Explosive but calculating, the band transcends the limitations and formalities of straight metal, injecting some grind chaos and jagged tech metal noise. Channeling Neurosis and Ed Gein just the same, these 12 songs each rage through their own course in a unique way. At times sludgy and plodding, others firing on all cylinders, the record flows nicely as a whole and will have no problems keeping your attention for its duration. The tempo variations fuel a lot of this disc, and the vocals of Peter Maturi are the perfect gas tank. Maturi establishes himself quickly as a force, be that through cathartic screams or deep, doomy growls; it again depends on the tempo of the rest of the band. I personally think that the band is at their best during the slower, more epic feeling songs such as “House at the Bottom of the Sea,” which pushes along with back and forth vocals between Maturi and fellow vocalist and guitarist Jamie Garonzik as the jaunty guitars start and stop while the drumming continues to push everything along until culminating with a fantastic mix of clean riffing and distorted guitar resonating in the background.
There’s still that other side to the band’s personality, however, and they shine there as well.
“Vertigo’s” jagged riffing and intense vocals serve to do nothing but knock you on your ass, and things only get faster and more intense as the song progresses. The screams are absolutely top notch, and it perfectly accompanies the musicianship. Versatility is a great trait to have playing this style of music, so it’s not quite as easy to let things become too long, drawn out, and boring. That song isn’t the only display of speed and chaos that SOTL has to offer, but it’s certainly the most prominent.
This band has a very, very sound technical head on their shoulders, and their songwriting capabilities have improved as well since their debut effort. The band manage their time and sound very well, offering up a variety of sounds, chord progressions, and sharp turns in their music. Any fan of Buried Inside, Isis, and the like will want this album in their CD catalog immediately. They may not talk about ejaculating into socks or Mexican food from Sombrero’s just because, but cacophony seems to suit them just fine.