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Touche Amore’s third full length album, Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me, was hyped for months around the Hardcore music scene. The excitement the band generated from their first and second releases left eager fans wanting more from the hard hitting five piece. Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me is a rare case of an album not only living up to lofty expectations, but far exceeding them. 2009’s …To the Beat of a Dead Horse built a strong fanbase for the band, and they’re constant touring tightened up their sound and exposed them to a broader audience. This album is sure to appeal the established audience, as well as enticing new listeners to the sound of Touche Amore.
Parting the Sea… is thirteen songs long, which seems like it may take you a while to get through. You’ll only spend about twenty minutes listening to the album though, but that’s because the album is just below 21 minutes in length. In the time it takes you to roast a pork, or microwave that case of E-Z Mac, you can listen through this album twice. You won’t have a problem listening through it twice though because you’ll want to start it over the moment the last song fades to silence.
Every song on Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me is full of tempered aggression and is a perfect outlet for frustration. “~” and “Wants/Needs” are two of the standout songs on Parting the Sea and they’re designed to melodically soothe your mind while the driving drums and guitar punch you in the stomach. It’s a high-low sonic attack that you’ll crave to go through again and again.
The songs build in intensity and message until “Condolences.” It’s a break from the hardcore genre except for the singer Jeremy Bolm screaming out faded lyrics over powerful piano chords. It’s the most powerful song on the album, but it’s also the slowest and softest, in a good way, musically.
Every other song on the album, however, has Bolm singing over the driving guitar work of Clayton Stevens, and Nick Steinhardt. The guitars in Touche Amore have always combined the essences of leading and complimenting; always doing just enough to help out without overwhelming anyone else. The driving bass of Elliot Babin adds a heavy compliment to the groundwork and keeps the intensity up to ensure some good spin-kicks across the pit. The drum work of Tyler Kirby is tight and intense. His bass drumming is both melodic and rhythmic; a rare combination you don’t find very often.
Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me will be featured on best of lists this year, not only for hardcore fans, but for music fans of all music too. One of the most anticipated releases of the year, Touche Amore has once again delivered an album that gives us so much without giving us enough.
- Anthony Gannon
Listen to "Wants/Needs":