When this album is good, it’s REALLY good. However this album also has a lot of moments where it is extremely disjointed and offputting. Weird percussion sounds, King Crimson-like flute sections in the middle of a track that makes no sense whatsoever, cheesy symphonicish sections, the whole bag. The first 4 tracks of the album are so far inferior to the last four that it’s kind of hilarious. The first four are, excluding the cheesy intro, tracks that are at times progressive metal, sometimes doom metal, and sometimes death metal, but never are the influences all there at the same time. And it’s not as if they transition to them gracefully, they sometimes just stop and change genre because fuck it, why not. Then Set Alight comes on, which is a great track on it’s own, but it’s really only a marker for the title track to come in, On Lonely Towers, which is honestly one of the top metal tracks I’ve heard this year. It’s almost perfectly combines all of the elements of the genres of the album into one song, and why the rest of the album could not be like this is beyond me. Chaos, the Songs Within is an alright track, but the closer The Vault is really stellar while not being quite as good as Towers, but having the same part of combining all of the influences.
This album has great ideas, but I really wish the execution could’ve been more consistent, otherwise this would be an AOTY candidate. As it stands, it’s just a good album amongst a sea of other good albums.