A few weeks ago I spoke to the downfall of modern technology and music. So called “advancements” have made listening to music a completely different experience while the development of the art, in its essence, hasn’t changed much over time. If you’re the kind of person who needs to hit the “next” button when something doesn’t grab you within the first 25 seconds, stop reading this now and go listen to Justin Bieber.
Good, glad you’re coming with me on this.
Having released two prior albums, the Marylandbased Admiral Browning took a step back to gain a different approach on their third. Settling down, breaking apart the songs, and rerecording has led to a rather fascinating album. Like a diesel engine, Battle Stations won’t move very effectively as soon as you start it up, but give it a few minutes to warm up and its firing on all cylinders. Each of the five tracks opens up to an almost incoherent mess of metal melodies; guitar launching into a noodly metal paced dance, bass throwing out licks into the nothingness and drums being pulled in a tug-of-war all while attempting to keep up. Then, inexplicably, each song hits a breakdown a few minutes in and flies out the other side with some truly awesome metal.
Admiral Browning is known for only a few long tracks that compile each album. So it comes as no surprise that Battle Stations is five tracks, with the last being 13 minutes long. The opening “Riff Crisis” is a rather fitting name. Struggling to get off the ground in the beginning, a crisis is putting it lightly However, and by this point we’ve already lost the weak minded track skippers, the track offers the aforementioned breakdown that reels it all in and rocks your face. And then there’s Star Wars. To my knowledge, no one has made such an ode to the galaxy far far away look as cool as “The Binary Language of Moisture Vaporators.” The nearly eleven minute second track simply needs to be experienced. Admiral Browning’s ability to make eleven minutes not seem long remains a secret, but their talent to throw together an addictive track is very evident. The closing track, “Dreams of Hammurabi,” challenges Iron Butterfly in length all while keeping my attention with redirection and ear splitting riffs.
Entirely made up of instrumentals, the vocal-less landscape is envisioned via dedication, talent, and some great artwork. Physical copies of the album will have you starring at the pirate/robot battle drawn by the talented $killit. Where the booklet would be, there is a mini-poster fold out which just adds to the imagination of these guys. Nothing done here is repetitive, it is an experience.
For those fated to bicker about how slow technology is evolving, pass on this. Your patience, which will rival a toddler, will have you sticking your tongue out at these three talented guys. For those willing to experience a five track, 38 minute instrumental metal experience, join me in rocking out and manning the Battle Stations.