The Old Dead Tree The Water Fields

The Old Dead Tree The Water Fields
After three years, losing a founding guitarist and going through a third drummer change, France’s the Old Dead Tree have remained surprisingly constant — dark and brooding, emotional but fierce and intensely listenable. To say that The Water Fields moves back and forth between heaviness and melody doesn’t capture the distinctiveness of the band’s sound and vibe. But where the debut album was raw emotion, the new record is more restrained, limiting itself to bursts of passion and aggression. And where 2005’s The Perpetual Motion played with genre boundaries, The Water Fields works a more nuanced collage of styles, infusing a rock/metal/goth matrix with funk, classical, singer-songwriter and other genre variations. As usual, the lyrical concept is an important element of the whole, focusing on the desire to avoid, and escape from, reality. Musically, the album is more catharsis than avoidance, compelling in its sophistication but missing some of the unruly magnetism the Old Dead Tree started out with. (Season of Mist)