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Customer reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
Worlds Apart
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£9.30+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 4 February 2012
I have to say here now ladies and gentry folk of the alternative nation this is my fave TOD album. The thing that sets this apart from the others which are brilliant also is the themes which are beautifully orchestrated throughout with some nice sax and eccentric violins making their appearance.
From their typical trademark instrumental opener Ode To Isis with its classical overtones ending in a softly spoken female voice "AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD!" you just know this is going to be a huge record and it is.
Will You Smile Again For Me offers up much of that wonderful wall of sound noise we all have come to know and love about TOD propelled along by some thunderous double drumming from Jason Reece and Kevin Allen, 2/3 of the centrum of this amazing band. A real foot stomper too.
The title track starts with children mocking and Conrad shouting "F**k you man!" and is a scathing attack on corporate media manipulation.
Elsewhere there is the beautiful piano driven Summer of '91 which tries to resolve lost moments and opportunities in time by accepting the concept of the 'forever now' philosophy which is their standpoint in their stream of consciousness lyrics.

The Rest Will Follow asks all the right questions of humanity and is simply a beautiful and heartfelt song that just stays in your head forever. Probably their best -

"IT'S JUST SOMETHING IN OUR DESIGN." Indeed! Conrad Keely's voice just gets better and better along with co singer Reece.

Caterwaul borrows the Immigrant Song riff from Zeppelin and puts another spin on it. It is a superb tune, and one of the standouts among many.
Sure we still have that wonderful wall of noise landscape that made them famous, its just on here its toned down a lot for more coherent structures and more of that beautiful piano that Conrad plays so eloquently, and that's not a bad thing.
A Classic Art Showcase reminds me of Rush's Subdivisions in verse and pours ridicule at the TV junkie with "here i am comfortable, in arms reach of the black remote!"- And more ways to deal with daily boredom being offered in 'Go next door and smoke some weed!". Right on man! You can really hear their prog influences on this outing.

Let It Dive reminds me of Smashing Pumpkins' Rocket but develops into something completely their own. In fact TOD do have a lot in common with Pumpkins in their melancholic themes. There are times it wells up tears in the eyes, the depths they go to.
Eccentric tunes like To Russia My Homeland with its barmy narrative and violins coupled with the dreaded sobbing of a distressed and wailing woman make this outing so esoteric in nature. Its almost like they've conjured up every possible emotion in humanity and presented it in these tracks.
Others like The Best and Lost City of Refuge seal this amazing album with a kiss that would make a perfect gift for anyone who loves music. I hear different things each time i play it because there's so, so much going on. If you love Pumpkins, Bauhaus, Floyd, Rush, Joy Division, Guided by Voices, Siouxsie and then some you will love this.
AYWKUBTTOD are criminally ignored by the mainstream. Buy this album, then get the others and find out what you've been missing!

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on 18 August 2006
This album annoyed a few people.

I have a friend who holds ToD in very high regard. He's a massive fan of all the other albums, and I'd ordered Worlds Apart off the internet and told him gleefully it was over the Atlantic as we spoke at a pub in town. He peered at me over his pint glass, and his eyes filled with a sense of loss as he spoke "Aaargh, it's complete rubbish".

Yet it seemed when I finally got the wrapper off the album and played it I was pretty blown away by the first few tracks. And then the tracks after that. I really really like this album, here's why:

a) It's completely different to anything Conrad et al have done before

b) Which means it's refreshing

And here's why it annoyed some of the other hardcore ToD fans:

a) It's completely different to anything Conrad et al have done before

b) Which means it's alienating and disgusting

The opening tracks are the now complimentary Trail of Dead instrumental "Ode To Isis", which alludes you for a bit before the album starts proper, and "Will You Smile Again?" begins. The immediate effect on you is how different this album is compared to the others. There are trumpets overlaying tribal drums, a lone vocal part with nothing but drums in the background, Conrad's strained voice in perfect harmony with the music. Then after all that it erupts back into the same earthshaking noise it began with. The title track, Worlds Apart, follows. This one shocks for a different reason, children's laughing followed by vulgarities from the band, foul lyrics (but true, foul lyrics) throughout this song alone give the album a dark tone. It's a great song though, a singalong, almost happy tune about death and decay in modern America. Just smile and accept it. I also like the random bird noises played for around thirty seconds at the songs close.

Summer Of '91 is a slow, kindhearted song, which bobs along nicely to a piano. The Rest Will Follow and Caterwaul are in my opinion the best two tracks (besides Smile Again) on the album, Caterwaul especially making an impact as a brilliant rock song. The following two are in my opinion the weakest, Classic Arts Showcase and Let It Dive.

Then the album really diversifies. The following three tracks, To Russia My Homeland, All White and The Best. To Russia My Homeland is a strings-based instrumental, different from their usual instrumentals but I think this time, different is good. It's happy and joyful. All White is a slow moving piano-based, with choral vocals in the background, obviously overlapped by Conrad's vocals. The Best is a great track, starting off with a poppy riff but it swiftly becomes a very dark song, with hopeless, despairing lyrics. I think it's meant to be thought of as Worlds Apart, part two.. as the "candy store" lines are spoken as the end of the song as a woman screams and cries. My friend hated this song, but I love it. This sounds nothing like ToD though.

The last track is the enigmatic The Lost City Of Refuge, which in a similar way to Sigh Your Children on Madonna, closes the album in a soothing manner before opening up a bit near the end.

...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead have definitely tried a different approach this time round, and I think that the change has been interesting and compelling. Hardcore fans of the older material may be put off though. There are choral overlays, tribal drums, children's laughter, birds, gongs, strings and a whole array of other things to prick up your ears here. Nothing they've ever really done before sounds anything like the back half of this album, which I think is why you need to listen to it before you commit to it.
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on 16 May 2006
I was to see them at a festival last year so this album was my first buy of theirs.

At first I found it a little same'y to be honest. But when I took the time to listen and focus in on the tracks I began to notice the thought gone in to this album.

The production is really quite incredible, Mike McCarthy has proven himself with this album to be one of the best rock producers going today (in my humble opinion).

I am very reluctant to give out 5-stars willy nilly but the time gone into this album has truely earned it, and that's just the production!

... Trail of the Dead have taken a huge step in composition skills and have proven that they are not just another middle of the road rock band. Incorporating a choir, orchestra, and not to mention the lovely Hilary Hahn (award winning violinist).

Live they were incredible (2 drumkits! GET IN!!), but this is not a live show review.

This album sits happily on the "My Favourite Albums of 2005" list and I continue (a year later) to put this album on as a pick me up still discovering new sounds and styles.

But like I said, it can take a little time but ultimately this album is monsterously rewarding ... in fact, I wonder if any of those that have given a bad review are still in the same mind!?
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on 24 March 2005
...the reason I felt compelled to write this review was that this album has gotten a lot of mixed responses, in general stating that the album isn't as good as Source Tags. Whilst I cannot comment there, I have to say that this album is by no means the jumbled, overstretching mess than many people claim. Initially, 'Worlds Apart', 'Rest Will Follow' and 'Caterwaul' stand out amongst what appears to be a sea of plodding, energy-less tracks. After a few listens I was disappointed. I imagine some people gave up here. But with perseverance the other songs, 'Let It Dive', 'A Classic Arts Showcase' and the dreamy 'City of Lost Refuge' become totally captivating in their own right. This is easily my favorite album of the year so far. Oh, and just because an album features some vocal samples and strings doesn't make it prog. The Mars Volta are a prog band. Trail of Dead aren't and World's Apart isn't.
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on 20 March 2008
i had never heard of and you will know us by the trail of dead untill i heard their song smile again on the shield.

this album has got it all, it is like an up and down rollercoaster which will leave you craving and yearning to hear the next song. I find it impossibly hard not to listen all the songs all the way through becuase it takes me away to another world.

it is full of differnt styles and emotions brought to you primarily by the astounding lyrics which grace this album throughout, if you are considering buying this album DO IT NOW you wont be dissapointed!

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on 30 May 2005
this album is a grower - when I first heard it I wasnt sure what to think, however continued listening has made this my favourite Trail Of Dead album. If you have listened to TOD since the beginning this will be a welcome departure. Sure, another Madonna/Source Tags would have been better received no doubt but the problem with many bands nowadays, not least Oasis, is that they are unwilling to depart from their original sound and become predictable and boring.
There are many stand out tracks on this album - my favourites are Worlds Apart, The Rest Will Follow and All White which has hints of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. Buy this album, but maybe not a good starting point for new fans.
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on 1 February 2005
A complete change in sound.Could be a shock to some .Less like Sonic Youth and more like The Polyphonic Spree with swearing.(I kid ye not)Listen to the track "worlds Apart" if you don't believe me......
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on 30 January 2005
this could have, even should have been the best album of the year. 2002's 'source tags & codes' is a 21st century classic, and conrad keely's songwriting and arranging talents have improved enough to even better that masterpiece. this is demonstrated often enough: on the opening 'ode to isis', which quotes mozart and then leads into 'will you smile again', one of the best songs here. starting with furious guitars, it decends into a minimal throb, over which keely delivers one of his best ever vocal performances. 'summer of '91' is a nostalgic piano ballad, which isn't what i would normally expect of this band, but it's pleasing enough. 'caterwaul', sung by jason reece, is the most aggressive track, but seems tame compared to most of their earlier work. it is still one of the better songs, especially compared to the dirge that follows. 'classic arts showcase' fails to live up to its title; it is a dull plodding song about watching too much TV (i assume), redeemed only by a great orchestral mid-section. 'let it dive' is even worse; it sounds like an oasis b-side. previously, the title track finds the band impersonating blink 182, and 'the rest will follow' would be a great song for any average mid-west emo band, but for trail of dead it just isn't good enough. they appear to have compromised their artistic credibility for mainstream acceptance, which is a shame for such a talented band. the last 4 tracks are utterly amazing, which makes the obvious sell-out even harder to bear.
the violin-led 'to russia my homeland', the fantastic beatles and bowie stealing 'all white', the self explanatory 'the best' and spooky electronic closer 'lost city of refuge' all show which direction this band should be heading in. however, 'worlds apart' as a whole is let down by the band succumbing to interscope pressure. maybe if they get a couple of hit singles this time around they can concentrate on making a worthy successor to 'source tags...'. until then we'll have to make do with the 8 superb tracks featured here.
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on 12 July 2007
Too tendentious by half. Sorry, this just plinks and plonks along without really going anywhere. There's a lot of anger, but what's the point?

I will stand accused of being an old fart, but for psychedelia the Butthole Surfers (Hairway to Steven, Rembrandt Pussyhorse)do the biz far better. As a call to arms you can't beat 60-something Neil Young (Living with War).

In this album the ToDs take themselves far too seriously, and its dull. This kind of music should be visceral, emotive, exciting. This album isn't. As a protest album its puerile (ooh, bad language) and it doesn't touch on the climate of modern America, only teenage angst. I think we've all had enough of that kind of thing.
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on 11 February 2005
If you enjoyed the rush of raw frantic energy that was 'Madonna'then you may be a bit disappointed by this as it adheres to the more mainstream spectrum of things. However, their sound is still highly appealling and there are a number of fine catchy songs that will remain trapped in your head for days.
I especially like 'Rest will follow' and 'The Summer of '91', both excellent songs which definately warrant the purchase of this album.
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