Murder By Death takes an ambitious step on their latest record “The Other Shore.” They attack a concept album with apocalyptic consequences and rocky results.
You get the typically thunderous combination of Adam Turla’s baritone vocals with his aggressive vocal delivery and Sarah Balliet’s prominent cello that has been the backbone of the band for nearly two decades now. You also get a band refusing to get stale and taking on the lyrical challenge of keeping a story together while making the music interesting. The storyline isn’t crystal clear here but the pieces are there, the bookends of “Alas” and “Last Night On Earth” being among the most telling. Those same two songs also serve as highlights among the 11 songs. “Alas” is a great opener and sets the drama the band is about to unfold while the epic closer “Last Night On Earth” ends the album on a gloomy note proving that not all endings are happy ones. “True Dark” really drives the album narrative home bringing up several recurring themes. On “Stone” you’ll find the most amorphous song of the group with the downtrodden narrator trying to rise to superhero status but always feeling like he is coming up short.
Concept albums are always fun but don’t always hold together, the musical mood here is the same Murder By Death we all know but also serves as the perfect gateway to the ambivalent storyline and serves as the glue. The darkness draws you in on “The Other Shore” and you won’t regret it, happiness is for ammeters anyway.
Key Tracks: “Stone” “Last Night On Earth” “Alas”