POISON THE WELL - The Tropic Rot

Poison The Well - The Tropic Rot

11 songs
47:27 minutes
***** *****


It’s quite possible that in 2007, American band Poison The Well released with Versions the best post hardcore album of all times. Next to numerous influences like doom metal and post rock, they also surprised by using atypical instruments like mandolin, banjo and mellotron, just to name a few. Maybe that mix was too much for some people, because the band is presenting itself on their sixth album The Tropic Rot somewhat straighter, getting closer to their live sound.

When Poison The Well mean to sound a little straighter, they still are many times more complex and crazy than most other bands from that genre. The new songs have been incredibly thought through and are full of surprise moments. The album begins with the single and video edit Exist Underground in a furious way, before the vocals become clean and the pace becomes more subdued. These shifts between emo, hardcore, progressive, pop and pure hectic insanity can be found on every single track on the CD. Often these changes are quite harsh, but they always work seamlessly well. It’s hard to pick out highlights, because all songs are far above average. I especially like the weird When You Lose, I Lose As Well reminding me of Mike Patton, but also the dark and dreamy Are You Anywhere, which could be a lost Tool song, is great. But even those tracks never just use one style, preferring rather to flirt with mood changes.

The instrumentation is flawless, too, coming with bass lines that never fail to amaze. The songwriting is so ingenious that there is never a lack of tension and suspense. Poison The Well have managed once again to sound differently and yet also to totally convince. Bands on such a high level are hard to find. The Tropic Rot can only be recommended and is already an aspiring album of the year!

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