Post Prog Sopho
Subject To Thoughts is a US project from Brownsville/Texas which makes dark ambient rock music with some prog moments. They already have 4 albums and “The Culmination” is their fifth. I wasn’t aware of them and never heard of their previous work, so this review is for this album only.
In the 73+ minutes of this release, they explore dark landscapes with an extensive use of keys and mostly clean rhythm guitar sounds. They achieve an interesting atmosphere throughout the album. Most songs move in ambient territories, with some hints of post, especially on the drums, or psychedelic, regarding the guitar solos and sounds. The prog element has presence in the title track, with more power and ups and downs than in the rest of the tracks. Maybe they should explore this style in the future, furthermore. It surely sounds more interesting to my ears.
My main problem with this release is the vocals. This out-of-tune dreamy style, though trying to fit in with the whole catatonic aura, it sounds out of place and it is tiresome. Actually, it reminds me of some grunge bands of the 90s, but with Brandon Strader (Vocals, guitar solos, sounds) being quite young at that period, , this cannot be filed as one of his influences. Anyway, I believe some people will like this but I have a different thing in my mind for vocals of this kind of music (f.i., check Wolverine).
I aAlso think that, in the future, they should shorten the length of each track and of the album in total. This genre of music has a minimalistic feeling, stripped out of changes in the key or in the mood in general, so it needs to be more direct to the listener.
So, the album has some interesting ideas and the band, after five releases, has a certain vision of their soundscape. Fans of ambient rock can check this one and enjoy it. However, it is a quite long album without even the necessary changes of mood and with such a poor vocal performance. I believe that, if they want to keep exploring these territories, they should try to step things up in every aspect of their music.