Review: i:scintilla – Dying & Falling

Based on the trajectory i:scintilla have taken over the years their newest album Dying & Falling is exactly what we could have predicted. Ever-more polished electro-rock that gets heavier and at the same time, more savvy with each passing recording. This album is a smart direction for the band. Ever-literate lyrically and a careful balance between electronics and guitar rock make for a great listen and their most consistently rewarding work to date.

While it’s true they are beginning to occasionally veer into Evanescence territory their work stands as still uniquely their own. They play with tone and tempo with delightful songs like the mid tempo title track, the shimmery “Omen”, and best of all, the anthemic “Shattered”. Sometimes it becomes a little too samey-same resuscitating the same guitar power chords we’ve heard to many times before, but overall the album works as both an emotional gut punch and as a collection of very carefully, painstakingly crafted rock songs with a smart use of electronics to provide depth and colour.  Ever-lovely vocalist Brittany Bindrim is in terrific voice here throughout, she’s become a stronger vocalist and lyricist as the years flow by.

There are fabulous direction-shifts that surprise and delight on the album as well. “The Shake” is the biggest, and most compelling surprise, an orchestral ballad that becomes a passionate gothy wall of sound, and one that doesn’t feel at all clichéd or out-of-place. It totally works and provides the perfect vehicle for Bindrim’s voice. “Worth the Wait” reminds us how cleverly the band uses electronics and layers (repeated listens through headphones help the listener discover many nice surprises on tracks like this one). Yes, the pseudo-metal posturing can become a little exhausting but as a package, this is a surprisingly solid and utterly enjoyable romp on the rock side of the electro village. Well worth a listen. (and a look – the cover art of some of the best we’ve seen all year…)

Listen to: Prey on You

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