Halo of Flies
Album Review byCynthia Joy
I would to open this review by first acknowledging Surrounded By Teeth's choice of packaging for Halo Of Flies. The artwork is eerie and unique and they stick to the black and white theme all the way into the fold out mini-poster inside (which also has lyrics on the back.) This was exciting in itself as I'm a lyric junkie and want to know exactly what I'm hearing.
The introduction starts off very off-putting in a good way. I expected to be thrust into an onslaught of brutality right off the bat, but the album opens creatively with the buzzing of flies that slowly becomes distorted before cutting out. "Halo Of Flies" begins immediately after with vocals that remind me a lot of older Norma Jean. Considering I was a massive fan of them back in the day, this immediately caught my attention.
When the third track, "The Four Of Us Are Dying" begins, I almost barely notice the transition which sets me up for disappointment at first. This dissolves quickly as the instrumentals as well as vocals change up a bit and begin to show that this band has more diversity to them than we see at first. (I'm personally a fan of what begins happening a little after the 01:00 mark. The vocals are reminiscent of Dr. Acula's grittier stuff.)
"Broken Antler" is the next track that really catches my attention. The instrumentals remain upbeat and easy to get into, but throwing in more breakdowns here is what really changes things up. It's refreshing to listen to a band who's talent exceeds generic breakdowns, and I applaud these guys for waiting half way through the album to make this aspect more prominent.
"Gigantism" is probably the most complex sounding track on the entire EP, in my opinion. It's another one that stands out in a way that provides just a peek into this band's potential. The gradual build up towards the end transitions perfectly into the final track.
"Sometimes My Arms Bend Backwards" was a smart choice to wrap up the album with. It starts off powerful, energetic, and very in your face. You can begin to feel the steady decline and slow unraveling as the song wraps up in a repetitive and almost entrancing pace.
Overall, I think this was a solid EP for the band. It's full of different styles between the always catchy vocals that show there is more to them than what meets the ears.