Three years ago, thanks to a review at good old Angrymetalguy.com, I stumbled across a release from a three piece band from Colorado. The band was Source, and the album was Return to Nothing. It was a little too brazen in its Tool worship, and there were shades of the band Soen as well. But it was a lovely album of noodly, heavy music, with some serious progressive overtones. Songs were long, had needlessly long instrumental passages, and probably could have benefited greatly from some self-editing.
But it was also refreshing, a little eclectic, and wholly endearing.
I loved it and desperately hoped it wouldn’t be a one off. To my excitement, 2019 brought us the second album from Source, Totality. And I won’t lie, I don’t love it as much as I wanted to.
Don’t get me wrong, it I still a really solid album, one which I like quite a lot.
It is also a more mature album. The Tool worship is far less pronounced. Songs aren’t nearly as long or self-indulgent. They are more straightforward. They are more concise. They still have the progressive overtones, but avoid devolving into musical onanism. If I’m being honest, I actually think it is a better album. It took everything that was actually good from Return to Nothing, and focused it and honed it to a more impactful edge.
But I miss the indulgent nature of the previous album.
Looking at Totality on its own merits then, it is a really, really good metal album from a 3 piece band that is finding their voice. This is a more confident band, who manages to be impactful without being too long in the tooth. There is a lot to like here. The playing is excellent. These are skilled musicians who don’t feel the need to beat you over the head with their ability. I like the guitar tone a lot. It has just enough crunch to be metal, but isn’t going to turn anyone off by being too much.
I’d love the bass to be a little more noticeable, because it is good playing, but it can get a bit lost in the mix. Lyrically, this is actually a pretty dark album, addressing issues such as suicide, acceptance, and dealing with life challenges. You get the sense these lyrics are fairly personal.
I really like Source. This is a young band with, I hope, a bright future. They write great songs, are developing a real identity for themselves. I look forward to what they do next, and hope that perhaps they will bring back in a bit of those more progressive aspects from their first album. Totality is more than worth a listen, and while I don’t find myself drawn back to it as much as I was their debut, I have come back time and again and every time end up thinking “I should probably listen to this album more than I do!”
And that is always a good sign.