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A Textbook Tragedy - "A Partial Dialogue Between Ghost and Priest as read by A Textbook Tragedy" (CD)

A Textbook Tragedy - "A Partial Dialogue Between Ghost and Priest as read by A Textbook Tragedy" CD cover image

"A Partial Dialogue Between Ghost and Priest as read by A Textbook Tragedy" track listing:

1. Appearances, Accuracies (Instrumental)
2. Enjoying The Company Of Bears
3. Confessions Of A Teenage Grammar Queen
4. Flatlining On Foreign Soil
5. Stay Classy, San Diego
6. Cynthia: A Mistress...
7....A Cadaver
8. The Surgeons At Dawn
9. Dance, Nils, Dance!
10. Dorsia Reservation: Bateman/Allen - 9:00
11. The Ghost, The Priest, The End (Instrumental)

Reviewed by on September 15, 2010

"'A Partial Dialogue Between Ghost and Priest' has a flow that is impeccable and creates an all encompassing journey through post-rock, math-metal, and grind."

Many bands have released albums that contain one long composition that is split into flowing sections. Meshuggah, Between the Buried and Me, Green Carnation, and Porcupine Tree have all done this, but there is one band and album that stands miles above all the rest. A Textbook Tragedy’s debut full-length is made up entirely of just one song, clocking in at over 30 minutes. While split into multiple titled movements, “A Partial Dialogue Between Ghost and Priest” has a flow that is impeccable and creates an all encompassing journey through post-rock, math-metal, and grind.

Beginning with the soothing instrumental “Appearance/Accuracies,” the band effortlessly transitions over to a more familiar grind style. Although the majority of the material on the album is an extremely abrasive encounter, there are numerous moments of whit and creativity. Free form jazz interludes are thrown right into the middle of tracks like “Stay Classy, San Diego” and “Dance, Nils, Dance!” From a band so young at the time of recording, it is near unbelievable that this album is even real. Especially from a self-released debut no less.

The album ends on another softer note with “The Ghost, The Priest, The End,” a beautiful and long instrumental that caps off such an incredible listen. The song builds to a climatic finish with an improvised and spontaneous vocal section that does appear in the album’s liner notes, which adds to the experience. Everything pops up when it is least expected. It is blatantly obvious that A Textbook Tragedy put its heart and soul into “A Partial Dialogue Between Ghost and Priest,” and that passion bleeds through with every lyric, lead, note, and chord.

“A Partial Dialogue Between Ghost and Priest” plays just like a book with a connecting energy that ties everything into one another and features a distinct beginning, middle, climax, and elegant ending. For those into experimental metal and open minded to different ideas, this album is your new diamond in the rough. Surely, without a doubt, this is one of history’s most severely under-rated albums. The eleven tracks that make up “A Partial Dialogue Between Ghost and Priest” are life changing. This one is an instant classic.

Highs: Incredible musicanship. The perfect blend between grind, math-metal, and a style of jazz.

Lows: Volume is too high for certain moments.

Bottom line: An epic, flowing journey through intense and creative math-metal.

Rated 5.0 out of 5 skulls
5.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)