Thoughts Of Ionesco
23rd June 2017 – Corpse Flower Records
01. The Alt Light
02. Culture Of The Eternal Snake
04. Scar Symbols
Call it math rock, progressive metal or post-hardcore, Detroit based Thoughts Of Ionesco led the charge for anguished vocals, aggressive guitars and random time signature changes between 1996-1999. With a reputation for explosive live performances, it was a shame to see them cancel tours and fold in 2001 after only three studio records. This latest EP, Skar Cymbals, will be their first new material since 2001 and sees the band carrying on where they left off.
Opening track “The Alt Light“, despite having a largely instrumental introduction, infuses chaotic time signature changes with anguished screams, courtesy of vocalist Sean Madigan Hoen. There is a slight hint of melody peeking through from impressive guitar fretwork, but this is interspersed with with heavy riffy breakdowns.
Listening through “Culture Of The Eternal Snake” and “Salutations“, it’s clear that the band have a multitude of ideas that they feel need to be conveyed in a short amount of time. This does lead to some confusion when trying to casually dip in and out of their material; something which is incredibly difficult to do. The second of these two tracks attempts to pile on attitude and groove within its main guitar riff, while also trying to add a bit of variety; periods of respite linked to randomly strummed guitars and the odd verbal moan from Hoen gives the song a bit of flavour.
But with 13-minute closing track “Scar Symbols” – including everything from (deep breath…): a low-energy opening, through weird electronically altered vocals, coupled with background static, then two-thirds of the way through a driving guitar riff with a really groovy section complete with anguished vocals, before coming to a halt and starting up again with an interesting drum fill – the music becomes as easy to understand as this paragraph.
Perhaps trying to capitalise on a newly-formed hole which The Dillinger Escape Plan are in the process of leaving, Skar Cymbals is only seriously recommended for avid noise fans that don’t mind chaotic nonsense as the norm.