Prize The Doubt

New Aesthetic

Written by: PP on 03/03/2014 23:43:37

After a couple of decent EPs that mostly hinted at potential to be filled, Columbus based three-piece Prize The Doubt finally delivered on their promise on third EP "The Empirical" in 2012. It was a chaotic hardcore record that borrowed just enough from the original skramz scene to keep intensity levels sky-high without being a revivalist style release itself, instead looking towards the artsy experimentalism of Fear Before The March Of Flames. For their debut album "New Aesthetic", they continue to deliver on their newfound identity, while also finding ways to further evolve their expression.

If "The Empirical" hinted towards Fear Before, then "New Aesthetic" is basically equivalent to "The Always Open Mouth", at least in the sense of its desire to explore ambient soundscapes side-by-side to the chaotic powerviolence and original screamo (skramz). This is evident both on "Mirror Of The Wicked", where the intensity shifts occasionally into creepy ambient passages, but also on album highlight "Rue", which uses treble-effects on the guitar to create a curiously melodic sound next to the tight soundscape that's characterized by immediacy and urgency all-around. Converge comes to mind as a likely inspiration once again, given the hellish, desperation-driven howls that sometimes contrast the low-end screams and shrieks on the record. These on the other hand again recall Geoff Rickley on United Nations, though perhaps not as technically sound, but then again there's a reason why both UN and Thursday are such revered bands.

"Vincent" is another song where Prize The Doubt leave the standard screamo format behind and unleash their experimental side. The result? Harrowing screams echoing in the soundscape, post-metal style build ups and semi-clean vocals contrasting. This trio of songs form the centerpieces of the album. Later on we get some quirky stuff like an acoustic track ("Regard"), textured drum rhythms ("Chasing Echoes") with more post-metal/post-rock influenced passages, here coupled with melodic half-cleans when the build up hits. In general there's lots to like here, and although the band have toned down ont heir intensity levels a notch, the added notion of experimentation and exploration of their own soundscape makes them a very interesting band to follow. "New Aesthetic" is so close to explode into a monumental release, but it is still missing the very last push to make Prize The Doubt into a genre contender. Let's see what happens on the next release.


Download: Rue, Mirror Of The Wicked, Vincent, Chasing Echoes
For the fans of: Fear Before The March Of Flames, United Nations, Converge
Listen: Facebook

Release date 04.02.2014

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