January 29, 2011

Music Review: Thomas Giles - Pulse

Let's be right up front with this, this is not an album by an artist named Thomas Giles, oh no. Thomas Giles is a pseudonym/side project for Between the Buried and Me front man Tommy Rogers. That is a band that I have had limited experience with, but the little bit I have had the pleasure of listening to is pretty awesome. Now you can color me surprised putting that stuff up next to this. All of the music on Pulse is of a decidedly different nature than, say, the stuff on Colors. Despite some dramatic differences, you can tell they were both made (at least in part) by similar creative minds.

Could Tommy Rogers be the American answer to the Canadian mad man of metal Devin Townsend? I do not know. I have to hear more of Rogers output and I am not sure that anyone can do what Townsend can do, the guy is amazing. However, that is a talk for another time. The comparison comes up because this album shows another side of Rogers' talent and pretty impressive composing and arranging skill set outside of his primary band.

Pulse is indie-rock/electronica with a couple of metal touches. This is Tommy Rogers letting his keyboard-driven atmospheric side run wild in ways that it cannot with the confines of Between the Buried and Me. It is an eclectic excursion that works as more than a mere vanity project. At no point does this ever feel like a "look at me" project. I genuinely feel that Rogers is genuinely committed to music and wants to explre it in multiple forms. BtBaM falls much more to the heavier side of the scale while this, despite some loud moments, is more intent on atmosphere and mood.

This is an album that you dim the lights and just drift along with, and aside from th Strapping Young Lad-esque metal of "Medic," succeeds as a work of beauty. It grows, expands, contracts, soothes, invigorates, and otherwise takes you on a journey of the senses.

In short, press play and enjoy. Tommy Rogers has a good voice that works exceptionally well with the keyboard driven songs. It is not metal. Metal fans will pick it up and will hopefully enjoy the decidedly different direction that is taken here. I also encourage the indie fans out there to look past the "solo metal guy" tag that could be laid on it and give it a shot. It is a pretty special album that almost completely shuts the metal out.


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