Past Undone - Time Lapse (EP) (2013)


We've all seen those pictures of metal bands before; all of the members, wearing black, stare intensely at the camera. You wonder, maybe out loud, what they are thinking about, or how hard they have to focus so as not to crack a smile. The band photos of Past Undone are no different, with all four members (two male and two female) dressed head to toe in the most dominate color, looking directly into the lense as if they are looking through the camera, and into your soul. Farbeit from me to guess what is on their minds; only they would know for sure. But listening to their new EP, "Time Lapse," I could venture a guess or two. In their eyes, you'll find a confidence that maybe, just maybe, their symphonic, progressive doom metal will hit you like a ton of bricks. Or maybe, just maybe, that their atmospheric melodies and distinct vocal performances will have you scouring the internet for more like them. A picture is, afterall, worth a thousand words. Whatever the case may be, "Time Lapse" is sure to be a lot of things to a lot of people; these three tracks ay more than any photo ever could.

The opening to "Condemned by Scars" is heavy, but not in the basic way you'd think. With the mix packed full, syncopated drums punctuating every beat, it immediately weighs down on your shoulder. Yet, at the same time, it is structurally sound from all side, including a dual set of vocals that are surprisingly balanced. A melody permeates the entirety of the track, driven very deliberately by the strong bass and keyboard components. It's a mixture that works beautifully, yet mysteriously. Going further, "Place in Heaven" actually takes that dynamic even further, taking you down a haunting path. The tempo here is slow, but by no means is it boring. They've colored outside the lines, and injected an intensity in the drum work that adds a jolt to each and every kick. But here, it is the female vocal that blows you backwards into your seat. As she pushes the boundaries of her range, your eyebrows raise, and your eyes widen. The title track is like an awakening, a snap to attention that you simply can't ignore. With the deep growls of the verse, the damn nearly operatic vocals of the chorus, and the sheer density of the guitar, bass and drums, you would be hard pressed to listen only once. But it is the way those things play off of each other here that makes the world of difference.

There are times, as most review writers would probably agree, where a score is very hard to determine. You've weighed the pros and cons, tallied up points and deductions, and you stare at your screen blankly, hoping a number magically appears. You could wrestle with it for hours or days. Luckily, Past Undone have taken all of the hard mental anguish out of the review process here, and given us something that we can be certain of. There are no cons to be found on this offering; not a single thing stands out as being inherently wrong or unpolished. They've done it all. Three songs, spanning almost exactly twelve minutes, with not a single second of time wasted, miscalculated, or misused. Every track, separately, is packed to the brim with a stunning and nearly unmatched combination of airy tones, distortion, and beauty. And together, they flow in a way that elevates them to new levels. It seems like "Time Lapse" might be the EP that is too good to be true. But, I assure you, it's real. And it is everything you want it to be.

9.5/10

Bandcamp - http://pastundone.bandcamp.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Past-Undone/555965854445885