Written by: DR on 13/03/2011 22:27:51

Having been around for almost two decades, Japanese quintet envy are legends in the hardcore genre. However, and I suspect there may be a few of you out there like me, it wasn't until their split with Thursday that they were brought to my attention. Since then, there has been no looking back. After reaching further and further into their discography, their fusion of post-rock and hardcore and/or screamo, particularly on the more recent releases, is one that never seems to bore.

Because of this sound they have crafted - one that is utterly unique to them - they manage to appeal to both fans of ear-crushing screamo and star-gazing post rock, even though both genres are seemingly at opposite ends of the musical spectrum. Moreover, they do so without ever pandering to trends, meaning they don't really have to stay relevant when they can just remain firmly within their niche, as long as they continue to deliver the goods. "Recitation" is yet another example of them doing just that.

This album lasts an hour, time which envy use to explore the far corners of soundscapes with ambitious yet quietly confident instrumentation in the build up of six, seven or eight minute epics, with softly spoken vocals occasionally placed delicately over the top. They don't distract from the pictures painted underneath it, either, as envy use all of their experience to choose the right moments when to use the vocals, and when not to. Songs almost always end with a meeting of glorious walls of sound and Tetsuya Fukagawa's tortured screams, resulting in something that simultaneously sounds like Explosions In The Sky and Orchid. For instance, the climax in "A Hint And The Incapacity", full of urgency and intensely gripping, is a demonstration of their post-rock know-how, while "A Breath Clad In Happiness" refuses to waste any time in launching their beautiful noise right in your face. However, there is also an interesting change of pace in "Dreams Coming To An End", as it feels far more dynamic and focused than any other track on here, almost like an out and out screamo track.

One of the definitions of "Recitation" is 'Systematic training by multiple repetitions', and that's exactly what this album is: envy doing what they have been doing for a while. They feel no need or see no reason why they should drastically change their sound, and why should they? They've mastered the combination of post-rock and screamo; creating something that is terrifying and triumphant, and in that respect nobody can come close to what the boys from Japan have been doing so astutely for many albums now.


Download: A Breath Clad In Happiness, A Hint And The Incapacity
For The Fans of: Explosions In The Sky, Orchid
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 10.12.2010
Temporary Residence

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