METROPOLITAN INTENT – 1985-1988: The Ancient Scriptures (Review)

METROPOLITAN INTENT – 1985-1988: The Ancient Scriptures

Floridian duo METROPOLITAN INTENT have been around for a few years, and their first album, 1985-1988: The Ancient Scriptures was released in April of this year. I have to admit, I wasn’t a massive fan at first, but the more I listened, the more this grew on me. The Ancient Scriptures is very diverse and very weird, to say the least, and I will say right now that you need to give this a listen.

From strange, ethereal shoegaze-esque tracks like “Ancient Scripture #2”, to electronica-infused, militaristic anthems like “Ancient Scripture #5”, The Ancient Scriptures is profoundly dynamic and undeniably weird. And at a monumental fifty-four minutes, it’s a hell of a psychedelic ride. At times (actually, more often than not the further the album goes on), we delve into post-rock territory, like in “Scripture #11”-“Scripture #13”, where obvious comparisons can be drawn between MI and EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY or IF THESE TREES COULD TALK. There are also hints of SQUAREPUSHER’s Ultravisitor (“#10”), ORANSSI PAZUZU (“#4”) and absolutely bizarre, uncategorizeable tracks like “Scripture #8” that delve into some truly surreal territory.

Guitars are definitely the highlight of Ancient Scriptures. Some truly fantastic melodies are being created here, especially in the last half of the album. My one big complaint, though, is the drum machine. It’s just not full at all – it feels weak, clicky, and often times it can be slightly annoying. The clean vocals, every so often, are a bit too strange and goofy for my taste, and I find myself wishing they had kept them out altogether. If these guys could find themselves a real drummer, or spend more time on the programmed drums, they could really be on to something. However, considering how young this band is, I can hardly fault them for not being ‘there’ yet. Given some time, and maybe another release (or two), these guys could really be something special.

Though at times it can feel a bit unfocused, 1985-1988: The Ancient Scriptures is a must-hear album, if only because of how compellingly bizarre it is. They call this stuff “dream metal”, and I can understand why. Chock full of both intensity and beauty, Scriptures is definitely one of the better experimental albums I’ve heard so far this year. I recommend this to everyone, regardless of what you’re a fan of, because it needs to be experienced.

– Zac C. Dendinger

Score: 80%

Standout tracks: “#1”, “#2”, “#5”, “#6”

DOWNLOAD IT FOR FREE on Metropolitan Intent’s bandcamp page.

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