Music

Progressive Metal Unit East of the Wall Returns With "Somn 6" (premiere)

Photo: Scott Kinkade

East of the Wall's new album arrives 29 March via Translation Loss, and bassist/vocalist Chris Alfano discusses their new song, "Somn 6".

New Jersey progressive metal unit East of the Wall returns after six years with a new LP, NP-Complete, March 29 via Translation Loss. In preparation, the band has issued a new video for the track "Somn 6". With vocals that traverse between angelic and clean to demonic and growling, it's an excellent exploration of the light/dark axis with plenty of progressive twists and turns that will bring even the most hard-hearted metalhead to raise their fists in solidarity.

Bassist/vocalist Chris Alfano says, "the title 'Somn 6' is a mashup of Psalm 6 and somnambulism. Lyrically, it touches on feelings of regret, or at least self-questioning, that tend to bubble up the day after I've had to interact in some kind of social setting. There's always that unease around whether, in retrospect, everything I said or did was the worst possible choice at each moment. The narrative centers on a character's late-night bender. But really, it's less about intoxication than about a judgement, even shame, that I tend to feel in the aftermath of large-scale societal mingling. That's where the psalm comes in: it's a lament for suffering and distress, which applies here to our protagonist's mental state in the emotional nadir. And the sleep-waking part of the metaphor is just referencing the character's inebriation and disconnect. So basically, this is our feel-bad pop hit of the winter."

He adds, "but it's not all frowns and flagellation. It's one of our most focused songs on NP-Complete, exploring some specific themes - and I don't mean that just lyrically. The foundation of the tune is based on a 13/4 bass groove that I brought in (well, the original riff, anyway, which kicks off in measures of 7, 6, 7, 8, before settling into the alternating 7 and 6 that makes the up the plurality of the track). Then, as usual, we all iterated on the themes in the room until a song made manifest. But unlike our usual compositional excursions, we didn't take quite as many detours. 'Somn 6' will still surprise you, but every section connects directly back to that first theme without the need for a transitional movement to bridge the gap."

As for the clip itself, he notes, "the video was mostly filmed at Portrait Recording Studios as we were tracking the drum takes, back in May 2017. You can also see some footage from my home studio, Volume Fact, where we did the vocals and guitar overdubs. Fun fact: the protracted recording schedule means that the overdubs were filmed more than a year after the drum shots."

Music


Books


Film


Recent
Books

In 'Wandering Dixie', Discovering the Jewish South Is Part of Discovering Self

Sue Eisenfeld's Wandering Dixie is not only a collection of dispatches from the lost Jewish South but also a journey of self-discovery.

Music

Bill Withers and the Curse of the Black Genius

"Lean on Me" singer-songwriter Bill Withers was the voice of morality in an industry without honor. It's amazing he lasted this long.

Film

Jeff Baena Explores the Intensity of Mental Illness in His Mystery, 'Horse Girl'

Co-writer and star Alison Brie's unreliable narrator in Jeff Baena's Horse Girl makes for a compelling story about spiraling into mental illness.

Music

Pokey LaFarge Hits 'Rock Bottom' on His Way Up

Americana's Pokey LaFarge performs music in front of an audience as a way of conquering his personal demons on Rock Bottom.

Music

Joni Mitchell's 'Shine' Is More Timely and Apt Than Ever

Joni Mitchell's 2007 eco-nightmare opus, Shine is more timely and apt than ever, and it's out on vinyl for the first time.

Music

'Live at Carnegie Hall' Captures Bill Withers at His Grittiest and Most Introspective

Bill Withers' Live at Carnegie Hall manages to feel both exceptionally funky and like a new level of grown-up pop music for its time.

Music

Dual Identities and the Iranian Diaspora: Sepehr Debuts 'Shaytoon'

Electronic producer Sepehr discusses his debut album releasing Friday, sparing no detail on life in the Iranian diaspora, the experiences of being raised by ABBA-loving Persian rug traders, and the illegal music stores that still litter modern Iran.

Television

From the Enterprise to the Discovery: The Decline and Fall of Utopian Technology and the Liberal Dream

The technology and liberalism of recent series such as Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard, and the latest Doctor Who series have more in common with Harry Potter's childish wand-waving than Gene Roddenberry's original techno-utopian dream.

Music

The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums Ever: Part 2, The B-52's to Magazine

This week we are celebrating the best post-punk albums of all-time and today we have part two with the Cure, Mission of Burma, the B-52's and more.

Music

Emily Keener's "Boats" Examines Our Most Treasured Relationships (premiere)

Folk artist Emily Keener's "Boats" offers a warm look back on the road traveled so far—a heartening reflection for our troubled times.

Music

Paul Weller - "Earth Beat" (Singles Going Steady)

Paul Weller's singular modes as a soul man, guitar hero, and techno devotee converge into a blissful jam about hope for the earth on "Earth Beat".

Games

On Point and Click Adventure Games with Creator Joel Staaf Hästö

Point and click adventure games, says Kathy Rain and Whispers of a Machine creator Joel Staaf Hästö, hit a "sweet spot" between puzzles that exercise logical thinking and stories that stimulate emotions.

Music

The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums Ever: Part 1, Gang of Four to the Birthday Party

If we must #quarantine, at least give us some post-punk. This week we are revisiting the best post-punk albums of all-time and we kick things off with Gang of Four, Public Image Ltd., Throbbing Gristle, and more.

Music

Alison Chesley Toils in Human and Musical Connectivity on Helen Money's 'Atomic'

Chicago-based cellist, Alison Chesley (a.k.a. Helen Money) creates an utterly riveting listen from beginning to end on Atomic.

Music

That Kid's 'Crush' Is a Glittering Crossroads for E-Boy Music

That Kid's Crush stands out for its immediacy as a collection of light-hearted party music, but the project struggles with facelessness.

Books

Percival Everett's ​​​'Telephone​​​' Offers a Timely Lesson

Telephone provides a case study of a family dynamic shaken by illness, what can be controlled, and what must be accepted.

Reviews

Dream Pop's Ellis Wants to be 'Born Again'

Ellis' unhappiness serves as armor to protect her from despair on Born Again. It's better to be dejected than psychotic.

Music

Counterbalance No. 10: 'Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols'

The Spirit of ’77 abounds as Sex Pistols round out the Top Ten on the Big List. Counterbalance take a cheap holiday in other people’s misery. Right. Now.

Film

'Thor: Ragnarok' Destroys and Discards the Thor Mythos

Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok takes a refreshingly iconoclastic approach to Thor, throwing out the old, bringing in the new, and packaging the story in a colourful, gorgeously trashy aesthetic that perfectly captures the spirit of the comics.

Music

Alps 2 and Harry No Release Eclectic Single "Madness at Toni's Chip Shop in Wishaw" (premiere)

Alps 2 and Harry NoSong's "Madness at Toni's Chip Shop in Wishaw" is a dizzying mix of mangled 2-step rhythms and woozy tranquil electronics.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews
Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.