Hardcore, Prog Rock, Math Rock, Indie Rock.
Terraforming is the only released album done by this wonderful band. The complex time signature changes, and odd rhythm changes scared me away from this album, but after a while I decided to give this album another shot, and for my surprised I was totally amazed by the musical effort in this album. The music this band creates is hard to define as Terraforming in my opinion should be considered experimental since they tend to show different styles within their songs. The combination of a wide variety of different vocals styles that range from clean vocals to death grunts (which gives a sludgy feel to the music), and a mix between both that sounds a bit similar to those on System of a Down and to Maynard James Keenan (Tool and A Perfect Circle). Terraforming tends to show a more eclectic experimental feel to it rather than the normal progressive metal that other bands of the same genre do.
The first song Amputees Make Bad Swimmers: Chapter I is a great introductory track that has a very strange math rock rhythm and peculiar but interesting vocals. Every single song in this album creates its own sound with each having their own unique styles making you feel like your moving from a different world to another dividing most of themselves in two parts, though the entire album is divided in 12 (same number of tracks in the album) chapters. Incredible songs like Rotating Crib Toy – Chapter VI and Unfamiliar Ceiling – Chapter VIII make a well example of the sound that this album truly offers. Interpretive Decorating – Chapter X has very melodic rhythms yet with brutal sections that really caught me off guard with this odd rhythm change. Volume Fact – Chapter XI is a great jazzy intro for the final song: Volume Fact – Chapter XII which is by far not the best of the album but itâs a good one to close off the album with a very sludgy ending following a sort of drum solo section (not a show off solo). In overall this album is a great progressive work with no flaws. It would make an exceptional addition to your progressive collection. If you like an experimental feel to your prog music youâre going to love this one.
1. Amputees Make Bad Swimmers: Chapter I
2. Hedgehog’s Dilemma: Chapter II
3. Hedgehog’s Dilemma: Chapter III
4. Schizorabbit And The Face Parade: Chapter IV
5. Schizorabbit And The Face Parade: Chapter V
6. Rotating Crib Toy: Chapter VI
7. Rotating Crib Toy: VII
8. Unfamiliar Ceiling: Chapter VIII
9. Lonely In Your Arms: Chapter IX
10. Interpretive Decorating: Chapter X
11. Volume Fact: Chapter XI
12. Volume Fact: Chapter XII
5.0 out of 5 stars The King Crimson of hardcore
In a crowded hardcore scene that seems to grow more and more stale with each passing minute, The Postman Syndrome is a breath of fresh air. This genre seems to be dominated by groups who recycle the same Slayer or Swedish Death Metal riffs, or they try to be the next Dillinger Escape Plan by blowing everyone away with technicality, and little else. Or even worse, they do the “”tried and true”” two-chord misanthropic machismo approach (Hello Hatebreed, howya doin?) But TPS are doing something different. While TPS does play some of the technical “”math-core””, especially the drumming, that is in style right now, there is far more to them than that. In addition to their mathcore insanity, they also combine that with the spacy alternative rock of Failure and Jupiter-era Cave-in, and the prog-rock sensibilities of Pink Floyd and King Crimson. One other thing that is truly amazing is how they place equal emphasis on the soft, delicate melodic parts as they do the heavier sections.
Terraforming, TPS’s first and so far only album, is an impressive outing for these young New Jerseyites. “”Amputees Make Bad Swimmers”” is a nifty oceanic that is both tranquil and turbulent. It even has a little bit of a surf-rock feel to it. “”Unfamiliar Ceiling”” is an 8 minute folkcore epic with beautiful acoustic guitars and a short but memorable guitar solo 2 minutes into the song. “”Interpretive Decorating”” has, of all things, flute accompaniment. The final track, which is my favorite, “”Volume Fact”” has a minute long jazzy intro which is worth the price of admission alone. The ending is a punishing doom metal meltdown that is essentially a variation on the intro’s theme.
TPS is one group out there that I can safely say is doing their own thing. For five guys in their early to mid-twenties, they prove to be musicians who seem to far more mature and intelligent than their ages would suggest. The scary thing is, more than likely, these fellows will only get better. I can’t wait to hear the second album.
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just another rock band
Hey, we all know that alternative bands follow the same general format. Not so, here. The Postman Syndrome is not your mother’s rock band. This group is original! Not a cover song to be found here. They have an original sound, and these guys are definitely musicians, not just the neighborhood crew who happen to be playing for fun in someone’s garage. Their music has depth, and the blending of sounds is incredible. First of all, you have 3, not the usual 2, guitars, and this allows for a full range of musicality. Secondly, there are real, honest to goodness lyrics here that say something. The mixing of voices is done to perfection, and the drumming is outstanding; this guy can really play! This group has passion, and it comes across in this first album. But that’s not the end of them. Go catch one of their shows and you’ll see what I mean; they’ve already come out with new things to play. Don’t miss out on getting in on the ground floor with The Postman Syndrome. They’re headed for the big time, and you’ll be able to say that you were there when it all started. Check out their CD, Terraforming, today. The more you listen, the more you’ll be hooked.
5.0 out of 5 stars Infectious.,
When a band is relatively new, yet has an unbelievably mature and infectious sound, they generally gather a following and then sooner or later exposure from all over the country, if not the world. People start recognizing them and pretty soon they’re all over the place and everyone is just blown away but what they are doing with the music that they make.
The Postman Syndrome have the ability to make awe-inspiring emotionally driving music, that is both technical and effective in what it is trying to do, and that is: have the listener enjoy and get something from the music. They do it so well it’s hard to believe that this is their debut album. And yet, they don’t have a great following yet, at least not around the country…but they should.
They play an interesting brand of music. That only I can describe as ambient, insightful rock music with elements of metal, jazz, hardcore, and just about most types of music. They have three guitar players which allow them to utilize harmonies which consume a song, while a subtle baseline and a driving rhythm section propel it into heaven. And the singer’s voice has so much range. From beautiful and melodic singing, to harsh growls that sound like they could rip your soul apart. It’s just amazing stuff here. The best song on this album to me is “”Rotating Crib Toy”” it’s just such a vivid song. It grabs you and takes you for a ride, literally. Imagine three guitar players playing mind-numbingly great scales alongside each other while the versatile singer wails his heart away. This is just great stuff.
Another great feature about this album: is that it is a concept album. It tells a story that is beautifully descriptive. Like the songs, it is well-crafted as well. This album is definitely one of the best of 2002, and just maybe ever. If I could, I would give it 6 out of 5 stars. It’s just that good.
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable,
It’s wholly impossible to classify the postman syndrome into any one, two, or three genres or subgenres. they are truly unique, and the constant comparisons to dredg and tool do not really do justice to their original sound.
with songs written on a near epic scale in length and depth, but still accessible to casual music fans, it could take dozens of listens to really take in all “”terraforming”” has to offer, if that is at all possible.
with 3 guitarists and 4 vocalists in their arsenal, completely abstract song structuring, absolutely brilliant musicianship, and a compelling use of melody versus dissonance, i was left floored when i took my first few listens to this album. the emotions expressed are raw, but definitely sincere, the lyrics are beyond poetic, and the blending together of four voices over this masterpiece leave nothing to be desired except for a repeat listen.
from the acerbic yet regretful “”schizzorabbit and the face parade””, to the soul sapping sorrow of “”interpretive decorating””, to the tidal wave that is “”amputees make bad swimmers””, this album will satisfy anyone’s taste for well written and performed music. a fan of true music simply cannot pass up the chance to listen to this album.
5 stars do not do it justice.
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome the new gods,
PS are simply amazing. Terraforming, a concept album told in 12 parts, is a journey through so many different musical styles. Rock, metal, hardcore, emo – whatever takes their pleasure. And they do it all better than most bands who concentrate solely on one style. The vocals are utilised as an added instrument to the three crunching guitars, bass and drums. With many of the guys in the band singing at different times their voices lend great impact and emphasis that may not have been achieved otherwise with just one singer. From layered harmonies to barking screams, it all fits unforgettably together. In an age where so much … is produced, mass marketed, and so quickly forgotten, PS stand out like an approaching comet. Emotional and aggressive at times, the cd should be a must have for all serious fans of heavier music. On par with the likes of Tool’s Aenima and Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger, the album eclipses most releases due to its sheer creativity, experimentation and originality. not to be missed or overlooked, a must have.
5.0 out of 5 stars They’ve changed names, not broken up (Not a kid),
Five thousand stars. Absolutely brilliant album. The main point of this review is giving other TPS lovers the chance to get a hear of their new material they’ve released under the name of ‘Day Without Dawn’.
On a change of topic, the album is completely perfect, a progressive masterpiece.
5.0 out of 5 stars Like nothing you’ve heard before,
Before I get to the review, let me first say that once again, the Amazon review forum has led me to another gem (thanks for the review Habitual Linestepper). I just got this album today, and as of 1:45 pm EST, I have listened to it, in its entirety, three times. Though I cannot imagine being able to explain why with words, let me try.
A lot of metal bands have been following the trend of lacing songs with smooth/acoustic passages, and many hard rock bands have added metal elements to their music, birthing the b@$*@%d child that is emo/screamo/metalcore…whatever. Most of the time, this variation is an excuse for the band to label itself unique or groundbreaking, but really does it do anything more than expand the sound that is to be stagnated. Rarely does one find a band that is blatantly rock AND metal (I’m not actually sure I can think of a single one), but that is what we have here with The Postman Syndrome.
And in fact, rock and metal labels do no justice in truly capturing the dynamic nature of this five piece from New Jersey, but the two musical relatives do represent the band’s core values. Embedded throughout are also tones of jazz, latin, funk, pop, and less frequently but still effectively, electronica. Even within the realms of metal and rock, the sound is hard to define; hardcore, near-grindcore, technical-progressive/death/thrash, and doom qualities are all present on this album.
And like few bands manage, The Postman Syndrome creates a personal style out of these genres/subgenres, rather than composing songs which string together disjointed segments of multiple genres. I have no doubt that any metal fan who listens to this album will concede that she/he has never heard anything quite like this.
Without question, any band attempting this level of variation must have the skill to back it up, and the musicians here exceed all requirements. There is undoubtedly a jazz synergy present, and a patience and selflessness not characteristic of most debut albums. The vocals are layered, and greatly varied, avoiding the pitfall of settling for one clean and one death vocal style. The guitars switch from clean to distorted often, and at unpredicatble, yet perfectly placed times. In fact, the entire album has an unpredictable quality to it. There is no pattern or mold for these guys. Each song is a reflection of a band allowing the songwriting to consume it, instead of trying so hard to push the songs to conform to a standard model.
Naturally, such a process/philosophy, coupled with such technical skill is going to result in a one of a kind masterpiece, and that is precisely what Terraforming is. I hear the band finally has some new material in the works in the form of an EP. I hope I am correct, because I cannot wait to hear what this band has in store for us next.
5.0 out of 5 stars When Metal Transcends to the State of Enlightenment…
… this is the beautiful reward. While radio is content with guitarists who don’t understand that distortion pedals can in fact be turned off, The Postman Syndrome flows in and out of quiet and effective melodic jazz-inspired riffs into crushing breakdowns and chest pounding rhythms as transparently as the ocean moves from low to high tide and back again. In the midst of one song, and indeed, each song, you will find yourself entranced at one moment and thrashing yourself ferociously the next.
Waiting for the next golden offering from Tool? This album will not only tide you over, but you will discover whole new avenues of musical expression. Metal musician hopefuls listen well – this is the sound of your future.
Interestingly, the whole album is actually a short story put to music (thus the chapter numbers). When listening however, you would be hard-pressed to determine which came first – the story or the music, as they meld so well together. If you enjoy the lyrical forcefulness of bands like Converge and Cave In, you will have a lot to consume here. One of my favorite parts is in the song “”Rotating Crib Toy: Chapter VI”” when the narrator as a child speaks prophetically with an old man, and they have a frank discussion on growing old and on the burdens of life. This is not something you will get from many other bands, and certainly not from voices so young.
Even more surprising that this is their first album. I have high expectations for their followup.
5.0 out of 5 stars absolutely amazing,
I cant really say much else about postman syndrome than what the other reviews have said but this cd changed my life. Every song is special and just wonderful. Everyone should take notes from this band because they are amazing and it brings me to tears just listening to them.GET THE CD!
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Album!,
Those who are familiar with The Postman Syndrome will know that the band is -NOT- new, but in fact has been together for 6 years, this is just their first album. It is one of the top ten of this year… progressive rock with some elements of metal blended with various musical styles. Check out “”Amputees Make Bad Swimmers”” (in my opinion the best track on the album), then buy it. You’ll love this modern metal masterpiece!
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