Review: Without Waves –Lunar Sends Us to a Spice Cabinet

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Looking for a review of a metal album and an obnoxious metaphor? This post won’t let you down.

This new album by Without Waves stretches far beyond one genre. With their weird time signatures and progressive tendencies, they spread their identity across the metal spectrum. Lunar is like the “Everything Bagel” of metal. Of course, that doesn’t mean literally everything, just anything that can make sense.

You know what, I really like this metaphor. Let’s keep going with it. “Sewing Together the Limbs” is the salt as the first song on the album and usually the first thing you taste. It’s not a distinguishing flavor, but it gives everything else a higher platform to stand on. It starts off as crushing math/hardcore by means of Dillinger Escape Plan, but halfway through the clean “chorus” comes in and gives off more of a Destrage feel. You start to get the idea that this bagel isn’t entirely offensive, but it’s not sweet either. “Poetry in Putrid Air” continues on this hardcore path and tricks you into thinking that maybe Lunar is just a salt bagel.

“Us Against” is where you get hit by the sesame seeds. A nine-minute indie post-rock ballad is soothing after the abrasive tracks, but maybe for a bit too long. The flavor is minimal but at it adds a nice undertone for the album as a whole. “Victorian Punishment” brings on the black and sinister poppy seeds. This song is HEAVY. It comes close to being grind at times, but strangely adds in some progressive guitar work on top of the beat-to-death drums. It’s a swirling and demented track and might test positive for opioids.

The album continues much in this fashion, pushing and pulling on the aggressiveness scale. They really never take a break from exploring new ground, which can get exhausting but is also a lot of fun. It’s like listening to a massive playlist where you have no idea what is coming next. Some of the styles they use are a bit dated perhaps, sounding like some older Converge, or you might even get some scant traces of a modernized nu-metal if you try to look for it, but none of it is done poorly.

That is, until you get to “Memento Mori” where they try their hand at some kind of brutal death metal and even throw in some dissonance. The garlic and onion hits super hard, sticking to your taste buds and doesn’t let go. It’s a weird track, and though it fits with the “everything at once” style of the album, the putrid breath left behind will offend most.

To some people, the everything bagel is an abomination of “whatever random spices are laying around” and makes no sense. It can be pungent and off-putting. But to others, the flavors will combine into something not necessarily coherent, but with a complexity that just manages to work. Any slight imbalance could throw the whole project off, but Lunar escapes by the crust of its bread. If you’re looking for something a bit different and can enjoy both progressive and hardcore music these days, be sure to check out Without Waves.

3/5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell

Without WavesLunar is out March 17th via Prosthetic Records.

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