Measuring progress is a key component to just about any kind of success. If you’re talking about fitness, tracking your meals, how much weight you’re lifting–or losing, and how often you hit the gym are key. A similar rhetoric can be applied to movies, or video games: how does the sequel stack up to the original? Really how different are any of the Modern Warfare games? Finally, the same can be said for music, as seen with Gideon’s sophomore album, Milestone, where in a manner fitting to the albums name, they leave Costs–and mediocrity–far behind.
So how do you measure progress? More importantly, how does one measure the progress made by Gideon’s latest album? No pun intended, the most fitting manner may be by using Milestones themselves. Take the instruments, for example. While Costs was far from boring or stagnant, it was sloppy–unruly if you prefer–to a point which, while it added character to the album, ultimately distracted the listener. Milestone, by comparison sees a much more refined and rambunctious musical styling which gives each instrument room to breathe, while still allowing them a star part in weaving the musical canvas that serves as the album’s backdrop.
While the songs themselves may feature a less strained, more dynamic nature, the instrumentation on Milestone is anything but mundane. Loaded with punchy, pulse-pounding drums and breakneck, rumbling bass keep the album roaring along taking no breaks, or prisoners. Meanwhile, soaring, shredding guitars range from thrashy, metallic riffs to hardcore, beatdown breakdowns. Tracks like “Bad Blood” feature Gideon’s unbridled passion displayed through sheer aggression, while “Faceless” and “Overthrow” are more-riff laden. Accompanying the occasional foray into technicality are tastefully done effects, often as a fade or phaser, which push the guitars the extra mile they need to keep them constantly entertaining and a driving force of the album.
Vocally, Milestone brings a slight mixed blessing. While vocally, Gideon provides a strong spine, the peripheral appendages of that spine are weak, or infrequent. The harsh, grating mid-range roar that is used constantly throughout the album is stellar, however, there is very little change of pace or scenery, leading to a slight bit of monotony. Enter “Maternity,” featuring a distinctly different old-school hardcore feel and a featured vocalist, it breaks up any lingering stagnancy Milestone might have acquired, minimizing any negative effect the monotonous, yet exceptional, vocals might have garnered.
Any engineer will tell you, a train, plane or automobile is only as good as the engine that runs it. At the heart of Milestone, there is a pounding, thrashy metalcore engine, pumping fuel into the unstoppable machine that encompasses the album. Granted, Gideon may have skimped on the leather interior, heated seats and back-up camera, they provide the listener with passionate lyrics, hard-hitting instrumentals and raw emotion which make the ride more than just comfortable, but an experience to boot.
By: Connor Welsh/Eccentricism