The Reticent – Le Temps De Detruit Tout (Heaven and Hell Records)

Monday, 25th March 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

Opeth gets a lot of love these days and understandably so – Akerfeldt and his band of merrymen have effectively opened the door for thousands of progressive metal seekers. With success comes a sort of off-handed, but direct adulation, one that usually comes in the form of mimicry with bands like Gwynbleidd, Farmakon, and the band in question, North Carolina’s The Reticent. The one-man project of Chris Hathcock certainly has its fair share of Opeth nods, yet Le Temps De Detruit Tout (“Time Destroys Everything”) has a stylistic flair and songwriting self-worth that over time, makes the unabashed Opeth worship only a minor piece of the big picture.

Relying solely on his clean vocals, Hathcock (who occassionaly does live duty with a backing band) isn’t afraid to open each frame up with an Akerfeldt-on-James Maynard Keenan excursion, like on “In the Pursuit of Redemption,” where he finds a groove amidst prime chord progressions. Hathcock is at his best (and so is The Reticent, which is pretty much Hathcock ) during the all-acoustic “Lie to Me,” a song worthy of candle placement and a campfire. Or even a roaring fire. Either way, the sparse and emotive nature of “Patience,” “Lie to Me” and album highlight “La Tenia,” which reaches over the six-minute mark but is the just the right amount of solemn.

As the album wears on, the tip of the creative hat to other bands seems to fade, as evidenced by “Silence,” which has some warm Scandinavian melodies, while the vocally-driven “With Folded Arms” has Hancock unfurling all sorts of creative vocal layers. A cover of R.E.M’s “Losing My Religion” fits the bill, with Hancock giving it a more reserved treatment than the original.

As is the case with most start-up bands, once the initial and overly-prominent sheen of one’s influences starts to fade, more can be made of a band like The Reticent. Le Temps De Detruit Tout may ring a bit too familiar for some in spots, but that’s why taking a deeper dive on this one is worth it.

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