A Textbook Tragedy - A Partial Dialogue Between Ghost and Priest (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

A Textbook Tragedy

A Partial Dialogue Between Ghost and Priest (2005)


Vancouver, BC's A Textbook Tragedy and their album A Partial Dialogue Between Ghost and Priest sounds like what happened when a bunch of kids thought Calculating Infinity was the most awesome thing ever and decided to get together and try to recreate it, but making sure to try and give it their own unique spin on it. That being said, A Dialogue is a pretty impressive debut (and even more impressive realizing this is a DIY effort), and promises something even bigger.

The band opens the album with a light, billowy post-hardcore/post-rock instrumental -- a style of which is performed admirably for the majority of album closer "The Ghost. The Priest. The End." -- in "Appearances/Accuracies" before diving into the disjointed rhythms and ever-changing dynamics of "Enjoying the Company of Bears." And like the Dillinger Escape Plan, ATT employ throat-searing, screamed, "freaking out" vocals, tech-metal ravaging, sprinkles of grindcore, and quickly executed jazz parts. It's in this track as well as many others you hear the creative talent of their drummer Nick Yacyshyn, flailing at the bass and kick for the fast moments and skittering along the snare during the slow jazz interludes. "Stay Classy, San Diego" isn't just an obvious Anchorman reference, it's also a standout with manically screamed gang vocals and an "easy listening"-style midsection. We get these same gang chants in "...A Cadaver" and "Dorsia Reservation: Bateman/Allen" and for once on a record, the gang really does sound just like that: A gang, walking down the streets with fists pumped and 2x4s in hand.

The record is also certainly full of tongue-in-cheek vigor (I would assume). Kai Turmann's scream sometimes comes across in the form of feminine wailing (think Folly or the Fall of Troy), while the 17-second "Flatlining on Foreign Soil" contains random, bloodcurdling screams of a girl who sounds like she's being murdered. "The Surgeons At Dawn" ends with Turmann growling a few words death metal style, deep from the trenches of his throat, only to painfully cough from the strain on his chords.

A Textbook Tragedy somehow manage to whip up a creative full-length debut all the whilst wearing their influences proudly on their sleeves. A Partial Dialogue Between Ghost and Priest isn't revolutionary, but it does borrow directly from the revolution, and hints at one they could initiate themselves.

Enjoying the Company of Bears
Confessions of a Teenage Grammar Queen
Flatlining on Foreign Soil
Cynthia: A Mistress...

Dorsia Reservation: Bateman/Allen

Cynthia: A Mistress...