This Moment - Star < Parallel (Cover Artwork)

This Moment

Star < Parallel (2007)


I picked this album up after reading a recent interview in AMP Magazine with This Moment that compared Star < Parallel to Until Your Heart Stops-era Cave In. True enough, it does have some moments here and there that certainly recall that landmark album, but on the whole I feel it bears a much closer to resemblance to a stripped down version of Misery Signals crossed with As I Lay Dying, sans much of the Swedish metal influence.

That's not implying Star < Parallel isn't a decent album in its own right, because it is, but it doesn't differ too greatly from what's already out there in the world of metalcore. This Moment picks from the right influences though, and safely manages to avoid many of the genre clichés that sideline some of their less able contemporaries. There are no poorly sung clean vocals, no overly gratuitous breakdowns, and guitarist Matt Laferty never once sounds like he's doing a piss-poor In Flames impersonation. The lyrics spin an interesting yarn about two star-crossed lovers (hence the title of the album), but they do so without ever resorting to the typical "bitch done broke my heart and now I'm sad" sort of bellyaching permeating the scene today.

Standout tracks like "The Glass Soul of Murano" and "Tenir Bon Contre" start off with brief clean passages before kicking into some badass metal riffing. The more straightforward hardcore elements incorporated in "Cast the Nets" are pretty rocking, and it's a little bit different from some of the album's more intricate songs. The Middle Eastern-sounding instrumental, "Release of Hostage City" is the biggest, but perhaps only, real surprise This Moment offers up.

While those points do enable Star < Parallel to raise itself above mediocrity, it's still probably not going to wow many people with it's originality. This Moment is good at what they do, but with metalcore rapidly becoming this generation's nü-metal, it's getting harder by the day for an album like this to really stick out. In the end, Star < Parallel is a competent metalcore album that falls victim to being placed up against some very stiff competition in an overcrowded genre. While This Moment do enough things right to carve out a niche for themselves, at least in the short term, it really remains to be seen if they won't get swept into obscurity when all the kids get bored of this kind of stuff and move on.