Even though they've been around for eight years, "Reconceive" is only the second full-length album of Denver-based The Quiet Room. If you ask me, I'd opt any day a band that takes a while to create a decent album instead of listlessly churning out a product every year. For, as it may already be apparent, I am well chuffed with "Reconceive".

I don't there are many bands that sound like The Quiet Room. Their singer is reminiscent of James Hetfield on a good day, but other than that everything sounds somehow different. This is partly caused by the mix, which seems to have obliterated the high end of the spectrum. The result is a heavy-sounding album, but there are preciously few moments where you can hear, for example, a high hat. It makes the sound somewhat two-dimensional. It's not just this not-so-perfect mix that makes the band sound different, though. There's the rather spectacular drumming, for example, that pretty much goes on for vast swathes of the album. And there's the definitive unique part of the album sound - the clean piano parts that lend a particular melancholy to quite a few of the tracks (though "Your Hate" and "Two Minutes Hate" in particular). Once you get used to this unusual ingredient, it's really quite beautiful.

Pigeonholing The Quiet Room would be quite a feat. They have thrashy ingredients, prog influences (read: they can play and write songs rather well), as well as an ever so slight layer of industrial. If it weren't for the mix - which I think should have been more crisp, I think - tracks like "Choke on Me", "Realms of Deceit", the ballsy-ballad "Reason for Change" and the instrumental "Room 15" would have launched this album straight for the 'five stars/bullets' rating. "Controlling Nation" is the only song that doesn't stand out. Check this out!



Written March 2000


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