Envy – Insomniac Doze

Envy – Insomniac Doze – 3.5/5

Naturally in keeping with my Japanese kick comes a post-rock/post-hardcore band that at first glance impressed me. With an opener holding as much impact as the first time I’d heard that iconic introduction for ‘Limbs’ (Agalloch), this is an artist oozing with emotions, filled with climactic crescendo’s and as many thick epic passages as delicate notes, its only disappointment in this sorrowful journey is that of longevity.

The first obstacle I was expecting to encounter was the vocals. Sung entirely in Japanese, the emotional tones he succeeds in portraying makes the lyrics an unnecessary inclusion, from the gentler, solemn tones to the screams, both seem to come from the heart, with a deep-set emotion that cannot be faked. Whilst I’m sure many pricked their ears up and the mention of ‘screams’ – for indeed, these are the same screams that identifies the genre of ‘screamo’ – they have done what many an artist before them have failed; they have shown me the merits in that style. With a raw and energetic emotion, the impact is unbelievable, retaining a ‘crying through the microphone’ tone, it somehow lacks feelings of teenage angst. This is the mature realisation of a dire situation, the complete breakdown of comprehension and knowledge of what to do next, and it is this complete and utter desperation, the feeling of hopelessness that has been performed so magnificently that constitutes the major highlight in their work.

The backing is very simplistic, minimalist in its attempt to accent the emotions presented, carefully worked in a multi-layered harmony, keyboards, drums, guitars and bass all clearly heard working in unison to provide this atmosphere, capable of producing a slow and barren tone, slowly building up with ease to a climax by the slow inclusion of additional instrumentation, or rapidly transitioning between thickness of tones. Whilst no instrument stands out, they all succeed in working in unison to accomplish what is required of them, and none are left feeling redundant, except perhaps taking second place to the vocals.

Unfortunately, despite all this effort that has gone into creating such a piece, there is no diversity to it. The vocals literally have those two tones and nothing else – if he isn’t screaming in a repetitive manner he’s softly speaking in a repetitive manner. The guitars have the same tone for the entire albums length, the keys stick to the same few chords and the bass is even simpler in tone than most rock bands. Somewhere around the third track, this becomes really striking as you realise that the tracks are almost impossible to distinguish, leading to a tiresome affair which the emotion itself – also at a constant – cannot sustain. The epic climactic crescendo’s that are in no short supply feel identical, and whilst all this may not present an issue for some, I expect will lead to a short-lived affiliation for many.

Highlights: Further Ahead of Warp, Crystallize, Night in Winter


Adam L. said…
Wow. This is actually really awesome. Very powerful stuff from what I can tell thus far.