... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead

So Divided (Interscope)

Texas Platters

... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead

So Divided (Interscope)

With an ominous summoning of the bells, ceremonial breaking of bread, and talk of Michelangelo, … And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead declare the noble intension of their fifth LP through "A Song of Fire and Wine." So Divided attempts to unify the Austin outfit's operatic songcraft with the urgency of their "Days of Being Wild" to unlock 2003's The Secret of Elena's Tomb EP and overcome the trappings of the previous year's brilliant Source Tags and Codes, from which those days sprung. This rollicking push and pull of art and anguish, tension and release amplifies the disillusionment of opener "Stand in Silence," in which Conrad Keely cries out over an apocalyptic barrage of riffs, "I had a band, had a song. I had a vision. Where's my vision gone?" As the distortion fades, a manic, Man Man-like drum circle begins "Wasted State of Mind," the band's most anthemic track since Worlds Apart's "The Rest Will Follow." The suicidal paranoia of "Life" suffocates in a discordant swell of strings and piano, "Naked Sun" unleashes a Texas-sized blues explosion, and a grandiose cover of Guided by Voices' "Gold Heart Mountain Top Queen Directory" works well beside the title track's epic post-rock and the mythology and mysticism of closer "Sunken Dreams." The death toll rises once more. (Emo's, Nov. 22)

***.5

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, So Divided

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