We All Die (Laughing) – Thoughtscanning (Kaotoxin Records)Friday, 24th January 2014
One song, really? Alright, awe our metal minds with just one song that makes Thoughtscanning deservedly deemed as an album instead of a single or EP. When all is considered, these guys did it. Making their first alliance as a duo in Eye of Solitude’s Deceit, French vocalist Arno Strobl and Belgian vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Déhà now present their first full-length album as We All Die (Laughing). Thoughtscanning solely consists of a thirty-three minute depressive-progressive dark metal oeuvre, and with the limited-edition first press, a bonus cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black.”
This album stirs up mixed feelings, and not just emotively. With interspersing styles and parts swaying in several musical directions, changing direction suddenly yet smoothly, sometimes it’s difficult to determine whether Thoughtscanning is an album to love or loathe. Shifting around the album’s sentiments, We All Die (Laughing) diverts listeners’ opinions into a snarl throughout “Thoughtscan,” and by the end, it seems almost impossible to disentangle. The closing measure alone is fairly awkward –“the living shell,” abruptly spoken after a stream of leisurely cyclic strumming. However, in a peculiar way, as the music cuts off, similar to reverse psychology, listening to the whole piece over again is the best solution to shake off the severed sensation.
They have a unified balance and division of vocals, rascally chic in singing a few verses in French even, but perhaps some of the other vocal parts wouldn’t be so irksome if they left out Strobl’s protuberant exertions of “money see, monkey do.” Fortunately, their ringlets of rock melodies, dark metal riffs, skulking phrases of jazz, and Déhà’s reverential depressive howls outweigh the absurdness of the cliché expression. Again, “monkey see, monkey do,” lyrically fit – yes, musically fit – not exactly, decide for yourselves on that one.
In listening to Thoughtscanning, discern the scanning of your own thoughts by the lyrics and tones, while letting go of all traces of time in the process. “Thoughtscan” may be a single composition, but it holds the sufficient muddle of moods, patterns, and climates as a typical multi-track album, compressed into one continuous piece.