This is a band that truly comes out of left field. You would think that with a band that is as experimental and unique as this is, they would come from Europe. Nope! The U.S.A. brings us this piece of work that can't be pigeon holed if my life depended on it. "This August Engine Part I" not only opens up the CD, but also is an instrumental. Quite entertaining this little piece is. It's got a solid beat and has a Metal feel with the double bass drumming and metallic guitars that provides many catchy licks. Sweet and subtle female vocals that are complemented with beautiful acoustic guitars can be heard on "Rainfall". Nothing is really over the top like we hear today.
More Metal guitars that are the driving force with male vocals from John take over on "A Room And A Riddle". The production and sound comes off as sounding like something from the 80's, but with better production value. The riffs are pretty simple and once again catchy. The vocals sound very old school like James Rivera, but not matching his vocal range, just his phrasing patterns. The drum work tends to get a little technical here, but succeed in not being too dramatic sounding or being overbearing. Part II of "The August Engine" is a kaleidoscope of sounds. It has a mid tempo beat with technical drum work once again and the guitars go off this time around from Metal to Doom with it's dirty sound and somewhat slow pacing at times that drag out for a few seconds. Acoustic guitar work jumps in here once again as well. The composition is well crafted and very unpredictable.
"The Trial And The Grave" is a ten-minute plus track that not only ends the CD, but is very Doom sounding with sludgy and slow droning guitars and drums with luscious female vocals once again. You could say that is sounds like early NOVEMBER'S DOOM. What the band creates here is very experimental and interesting. The fact that this type of music comes from the U.S. is also amazing, so I guess that means that not all American musicians want to sound like KORN, DISTURBED and whatever else is hot at the moment.
This is a journey that may entice some and drive away others, but the fact remains that there is nothing quite like it on the market right now and this is worth a spin if you are desperately looking for something new and refreshing. (Online December 25, 2003)