Art rock implies a lot of things that are kind of antithetical to most heavy metal bands, leaving out the more progressive of the lot. But it's not all bad haircuts and self-loathing nihilism.
Of course, I say this as the guy that mostly ignores lyrics in favor of the musical vibe at hand; and that natural inclination is probably bolstered by my recent reading of Daniel J. Levitin's This Is Your Brain On Music (check it out, it's brilliant). And in the case of A Whisper In The Noise (AWITN), they actually make it pretty easy to ignore the lyrics with their ethereal crooning so heavily processed; it's like the soundtrack to a seance.
On the plus side though is the music itself. While nothing at all like the heavier stuff I tend to listen to, AWITN makes some very compelling and moody music. The beats sometimes remind me of Angelo Badalamenti's Twin Peaks soundtrack work in their dreamy, haunted retro-hipness.
The Bottom Line: Imagine the setting of a Stephen King novel with its tarnished nostalgia against the backdrop of a forgotten, cold, and windy Northeastern town; a once beautiful and familiar sight now mired in fear and regret. This is the soundtrack.
Tracks to Make You Cry for Laura Palmer: Black Shroud, Mayas Song, Your Hand
- Genghis is trying to remember some really good ghost stories now...