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Thomas Giles - "Modern Noise" (CD)

Thomas Giles - "Modern Noise" CD cover image

"Modern Noise" track listing:

1. Wise and Silent
2. Mutilated World
3. Siphon the Bad Blood
4. I Appear Disappear
5. Blueberry Queen
6. We Wander Lonely
7. M3
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9. Noise Upon
10. Wander Drug
11. The Devil Net
12. Modern Noise

Reviewed by on December 11, 2014

"As with “Pulse,” all of “Modern Noise” is completely and totally different from Between The Buried and Me's output, so you can't expect to hear anything like the mixing of extreme sounds that fans of the base band are used to experiencing."

Between The Buried and Me is already an eclectic and genre-pushing outfit, so it probably wasn't that much of a surprise when the “Pulse” solo album from front man Thomas Giles went all over the map musically. His chance to leave metal mostly behind, “Pulse” was still a stellar album for metal fans with broad musical horizons. Prepare to keep those horizons broadened for the second go around, as follow-up album “Modern Noise” is a whole different beast from “Pulse.”

From those first odd, pulsating notes on the opening “Pulse” track “Sleep Shake,” this reviewer was hooked, and still spins that album at least once or twice a week. The “Modern Noise” opener “Wise and Silent” didn't quite manage that same level of instant intrigue, instead going a more quietly atmospheric route, bringing to mind Anathema's latest album “Distant Satellites.” The following track, “Mutilated World,” also doesn't quite latch on as tightly with the lyrics or resonate as strongly with the atmospheric rock as anything on “Pulse,” but it's not a bad track overall.

With “Siphon The Bad Blood,” you'll hear something totally different from the previous two tracks, as suddenly the album takes a sudden left turn into hard rock, showing off a little Chrome Division or Motorhead influence (you can almost hear the motorcycles revving in the background). Where the shit really hits the bizarre fan is the two minute track “Blueberry Queen,” with its free form oddity, over-the-top vocals, and (one can only assume) drug referencing lyrics.

“I Appear Disappear” is overall catchy and energetic, and then ends on a smooth proggy guitar solo segment that brings to mind the jazzier and more rock-focused elements of Opeth. That track also showcases a new focus for the album, as several of the songs from this point forward (“M3” and “Wander Drug” in particular) are significantly more hard rock and metal-focused than what was heard on the previous album, even if there are still plenty of less-than-heavy sections.

As with “Pulse,” all of “Modern Noise” is completely and totally different from Between The Buried and Me's output, so you can't expect to hear anything like the mixing of extreme sounds that fans of that band are used to experiencing. This sophomore solo outing has a mix of actively energetic music with introspective elements, from the electronic “We Wander Lonely” to the meandering eighth track (the name of which is not worth attempting to type out). While it doesn't strike as hard or land as many hits as the last album, “Modern Noise” is still a solid release for fans of eclectic tunes that pull from all walks of the musical journey.

Highs: Although still not extreme metal by any stretch of the imagination, this album is heavier and mixes in more energetic sounds.

Lows: Some of the tracks may be too bizarre to be appreciated, and the album as a whole isn't the immediate smash hit the last release was.

Bottom line: BTBAM's front man offers up another eclectic solo album that strays far, far away from the base band's sound.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

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)