Last year I received an cd single/EP from a Los Angeles based band named Tears. I found it to be very refreshing to hear a progressive metal band that wasn’t trying to sound like Dream Theater or one of it‘s many clones. Upon listening to the album, I can conclude that they are progressive in every sense of the word because they push the boundaries of music.
Now I have before me, the full length debut album, Unravelling Travesties, which mixes gothic and progressive elements equally thus creating something new and unique. At times they’re reminiscent of Voyager, Green Carnation, so much more.
I have to warn you that Unravelling Travesties is not an easy album to get into. You need multiple listens with headphones to hear all the wondrous sounds. And have the booklet in front of you while listening, so that you can follow along with the lyrics, to get an idea on what’s going on. Believe me I’m still not sure of the subject matter. I do plan to keep listening to it.
The album starts out with an aggressive in-your-face song, “Lame” (4:31). The music slows down and isn’t as aggressive on the next track, “I’ll Change It All,” (5:01), which goes from dark heavy parts to an almost gothic atmospheric elements. and some times lush vocals. “I Promise You,” (5:00) which features some flute, violin, cello and some very beautiful female vocals provided by Jaylee Small. I would love to hear more duets between Jaylee and Gouaime in the future.
Next is “I Can't Forgive What You Have Both Done” (7:07), the longest track on the album. It has some slight complex moments towards the end of the song.
The remainder of the album is features a trio of multi-part “suites.” Two of them are, “Time Master” and “Things Imaginary” which were both previously featured on the CD single/EP Memories Of Things Unnecessary. To be able to hear them in a full length album, brings new light to them, and now the closing “Self Destruction” trilogy really showcase what Tears is capable of. The technicality of the musicianship, the way these songs are arranged, the thought-provoking or highly emotional lyrical content, and of course the vocals.
Vocalist/multi-instrumentalist/ songwriter/producer, Gouaime Divanis has the trademark deep brooding vocals most gothic males possess and if needed, he’s capable of pulling off a death metal growl when needed be.
If you’re a true music connoisseur especially if you like the darker side of progressive rock, then you simply must get Unravelling Travesties, immediately. It’s probably the most unique album you’ll ever possess in your collection. I’d give it a very strong recommendation. I can’t wait to hear what Gouaime will have up his musical sleeve.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on May 30th, 2011