From A Second Story Window Delenda

When you successfully tour on a demo for longer than most groups do on a full-length, the high expectations brought on by such potential displayed so early on in the game can destroy lesser acts. While From A Second Story Window have not quite created the masterpiece they’re capable of, Delenda is a superb album that takes a number of potentially damning risks and comes out of the majority of them unscathed. Wisely eschewing the chest-thumping breakdowns of their debut in favour of a more erratic, technical sound, the band open up a hell of a lot of gloomy passages and tentatively step through most of them, but unfortunately leave the doors slightly ajar in their wake. The acquisition of ex-End of All vocalist Will Jackson merits bonus points, as his range far exceeds Sean Vandegrift’s merely passable performance on their prior effort. Their knack for fusing death/grind influences, chaotic noisecore, progressive instrumentation, and a certain distinctive ambience is still fully intact — it’s just a hell of a lot more convoluted this time around, for better or worse. Many will be disappointed by the reduced reliance on groove and pit riffs, and some will be downright appalled by such bizarre inclusions as the piano ballad "Ghosts of Japan” or the crew vocals seemingly performed by a large group of little girls on "Oracles and Doorsteps.” While FASSW may have stepped a little out of their boundaries here, for the most part, the material works, and should be seen as a young band finding their footing before releasing a bona fide showstopper. (Blackmarket Activities)