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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Texan rockers, Trail Of Dead, mosey back into town, Guns blazing!, 13 Mar 2009
This review is from: The Century Of Self (Audio CD)
Chameleonic noise-masters, Trail Of Dead, have always been a little difficult to pigeonhole. From being hailed as post-rock heroes, to grandiose noise-rockers, and alternately slammed as pseudo artrock sell-outs, and pro-tooled prog-pretenders, they have also been hard to follow as a fan. Many were disappointed with 2006's straight-up, slickly produced, So Divided, in spite of, or perhaps because it so unashamedly kicked arse with not so much as a backward glance at their more experimental moments.

You see, like So Divided, Trail Of Dead perennially split opinions with each new release. What is considered overly polished stadium rock by some, is viewed as shambolic, meandering noise to those at the other end of the spectrum of both fans and music press. ToD occupies a middle ground that is more No Man's Land than compromise, for there is no happy medium.

New release, and sixth studio album, The Century Of Self, will doubtlessly do likewise, but it is by far more likely to unite fans of the band's earlier work, such as Source Tags and Madonna, and those who enjoyed their last recording, for the bile and energy is still ever-present, but so is their more orchestral prog-tinged noise for which they were once so revered in somewhat geekier circles. The glossy sheen of past two records is still present, but there is something more of their organic roots herein; there is a connection between musicians unbroken by studio partitions.

The Century Of Self is a piece. It's what an album should be - and perhaps needs to be in the era of the playlist - and that is a complete work of complimentary and interrelated songs rather than a series of individual tracks. Listening to this album track-by-track would be like listening to separate movements from a symphony or pulling the legs off a crane fly.

As you can therefore imagine, the band had their sights firmly set on producing something worthy of the term `epic' when composing and producing this record. It is sweeping, luxurious, highly polished and it soars high above its contemporaries, but never quite breaks through the glass ceiling into the stratospheric realms of Arcade Fire's Intervention, or The Mars Volta's Inertiatic ESP.

Though still exuberant, curious and exploratory, Trail Of Dead foremost set about pleasing themselves, and though the wax melts on their wings before they quite meet their zenith, they leave an impressive fable in their wake none-the-less.

J Capeling
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a worthy special edition of a fantastic record, 26 Mar 2009
This review is from: The Century Of Self [Limited Edition: CD+DVD] (Audio CD)
I don't think I'll be alone in saying I own the first three TOD albums but lost interest with their last two efforts, primarily because of the tendency toward prog-influenced tracks.
Having escaped their major-label deal and set up on their own it seems TOD have remembered that first and foremost they are a fantastic rock band. Don't get me wrong, this is still a dense record which rewards repeated spins, but equally it has an immediacy not heard since "signs".
Another review on amazon cites Rites of Spring as having a similar sound - couldn't agree more - they were the first thing I thought of upon first hearing this.
Just a final note: I tend to steer away from overpriced special editions, but the live DVD included with this edition is worthy of comment and praise - so much better than the usual "in the studio" footage that we get lumbered with on free DVDs these days. Definitely worth the extra few quid.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing wrong with this album at all, 12 Mar 2009
By 
Big Jim "Big Jim" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Century Of Self [Limited Edition: CD+DVD] (Audio CD)
I agree with the other reviewers bemoaning the fact that the music "press" haven't given this album the credit it's due. In fact I'd go further and say this is possibly their most accessible album and that they have outgrown their "niche" tag with it. This deserves to be "mainstream" and heard by a wider audience.

In fact I'd go so far as to say that anyone disappointed (or not as the case may be) with the new U2 album could well find themselves pleasantly surprised by this.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a fantastic return..., 12 Feb 2009
By 
A. H. Dovey "EarthThrone" (EXETER) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Century Of Self [Limited Edition: CD+DVD] (Audio CD)
I will probably move this review to a 5 star once i have recieved the actual album + bonus features. I streamed this record last night and was blown away...totally blown away.

Not only can a band pass the dreaded depths of larger label hell, loose members etc, but to provide consistent incredible music gives me the goosebumps and the faith that raw live music is still beating like a large bastard heart.

This album does sound a little different than previous, probably less cinematic than Worlds Apart, more raw and prog influenced than So Divided. I really picked up vocal parts and sing alongs that reminded me of really old (dare I say the word!) screamo. Good old late 80's early 90's noise rock with incredible tinged prog dynamics. I dont want to over review this etc...as its just music and its just a great record.

But please, keep the faith!

For fans of Rites of Spring, Sonic Youth, Mogwai, Dazzling Killmen, My Bloody Valentine and Yes...etc.

winner winner chicken dinner!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb service, 5 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Century Of Self (Audio CD)
Wow, this arrived the day after purchase. Excellent condition. I am impressed. Thank you.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another TOTD massacre..., 27 Feb 2009
By 
S. R. Edwards "endcommunication" (Surrey, U.K) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Century Of Self [Limited Edition: CD+DVD] (Audio CD)
Awesome!

However, it's disappointing to read most of the main (supposedly well versed in the arts) magazine reviewers comments. By classifying the band as having 'cult status' does not mean that can get away with giving it mediocre marks because 'they don't really get it'. Though I suppose that explains the current crop of bland & pointless music that is 'the current scene'. Reviewers such as these make the current scene bands big. Says a lot really....

What you DO need to know, is that despite the backward step in production, the songs are still awesome. A good mix of tunes, with the now expected Conrad piano pieces thrown in for that touch of genius. TOTD ARE Austin, Texas. They ARE weird. And they ARE a welcome sight in the current musical wateland...
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The Century Of Self [Limited Edition: CD+DVD]
The Century Of Self [Limited Edition: CD+DVD] by And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead (Audio CD - 2009)
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