Chuck Schuldiner Project

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Godbless Thee, Mooseheart - The Prison Pt. II

Following up the narrative of the previous full-length effort, Godbless Thee, Mooseheart mark their return with the second installment of The Prison. For those unfamiliar with this project, Godbless Thee, Mooseheart is a rock band from Laguna Hills, California fronted by singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Brent Vallefuoco, whom some of you might be familiar with from his position as lead guitarist for Cinematic black metal act Xanthochroid (Quick anecdote: lead vocalist and keyboardist Sam Meador of Xanthochroid contributes as a keyboardist on the album). With this current project, the band borrows elements from a wide array of musical styles such as Post-rock, Shoegaze, Folk,  Midwestern Emo and even Metal within a progressive rock framework to deliver a distinct and eclectic sound carrying a strong sense of experimentation. After nearly 3 years since the previous full-length effort, The Prison, Pt.II continues and concludes the story that follows a boy as he grows up and learns to find his own path in life.

With this current album, Brent's eclectic range of musical influences are yet again on full display and carefully blended into a coherent whole. Both the narration as well as the compositions are marked by a strong sense of progression, illustrating the characters' moods and phases along his introspective journey. Each song on this LP tweaks around and draws from various musical backgrounds while still retaining its core Godbless Thee, Mooseheart DNA. From the magnificent sounds of Perdu, the post-rock inspired build ups up to the tortured, chaotic yet operatic The Monster Overlooking Everything Else, this album also covers a lot of different moods and states of mind.
The album starts off with the peaceful acoustic sounds of Mountain Song, which reintroduces the listener into the story arc before swelling up and transitioning into the next song,  Perdu, one of the most straightforward progressive rock tracks off the album.
One of the great things on this track which we'll come to find on a great deal of the LP is the songs' tendency to build up within a certain stylistic framework before taking an unexpected turn and evolving into something else by the time the song reaches its end. For this reason, The Prison Pt.II is an album that seems to constantly evolve and never lingers too long in one place. The album manages to keep your utmost attention all the way throughout its runtime thanks to its constant sonic exploration fitted within a remarkably paced set of songs.
The whole album is characterized by a strong, ever present sense of bittersweet melancholia, supported by hazy, dreamy, shoegaze-inspired effects and crystalline sonicscapes and ambiences throughout the album. Thanks to this meticulous attention to detail and atmosphere, we get a profound sense of depth and immersion, as if we were sucked into the protagonists' unconscious and presented with Polaroid pictures of his childhood memories floating and slowly drifting away into the distance.

Through its' honest and deeply personal lyrics, its' oneiric soundscapes and it's down-to-earth, heart-to-heart delivery, Godbless Thee Mooseheart delivers a highly introspective full-length effort that is sure to strike a chord with your inner childhood memories while at the same time baffling you with its' compositional ambition and grandeur. From its' catchy, bittersweet melodies to its' heartwrenching moments, The Prison pt.II will draw you in and captivate you with its nuanced display of personality, innovation and soulfulness.


Godbless thee Mooseheart – The Prison, Pt.II
To be released on July 21st (digital and physical pre-orders already available through bandcamp)

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