2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Porcelain (Audio CD)
As you will have no doubt guessed by now, Sparta are one of the two bands that rose from the ashes of At the Drive-in. Whereas the Mars Volta are a more eclectic and progessive band, Sparta still hold some of their ATDI qualities but still evolve enough to create their own sound.
"Porcelain" is an excellent album. Musically it's not as out there or as complex as the Mars Volta, but that doesn't take away from the fact that Sparta have created a solid rock album. Every track on it is likeable, and you will rarely skip over any tracks. The first single from this album, "Breaking the Broken" is quite excellent and a great song to promote the album with, it's heavy enough and easy enough to listen to which attracts both crowds from the 'rock' spectrum.
Stand out tracks include the explosive "Guns of Memorial Park" which is reminiscent of ATDI "Relationship of Command". "Lines in Sand", one of the albums slow tracks, but boasts a nice bassline and soundscape. My personal favourite(s) are the tracks "Syncope" (the intro to "Tensioning") and "Tensioning". "Syncope" is just guitar and nothing more, but it sounds almost otherwordly, and leads into "Tensioning", a track that carries a lot of emotion, filled with wanting and sorrow. Fantastic.
Lyrically the album is great. The lyrics are sometimes odd, vague and at other times specific. A little similar to the lyrics on "De-loused in the Comatorium" but not as extreme. But the lyrics suit the music well.
The sound of the album comes in crisp and clear. At times the vocalist is a little hard to make out because of his singing style, nowhere near the melody that Cedric Zavala has currently. But it's similar to the singing style heard when listening to At the Drive-in.
Sparta aren't as explosive, or energetic as ATDI were or the Mars Volta are. But they've sacrificed that quality, to gain something deeper. Purchase this album, you won't be disappointed.